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Lloydspharmacy slams NHS landlords for lack of support with health centre pharmacy rents

Lloydspharmacy has hit out at NHS Property Services (NHSPS) for showing a “lack of support and understanding” when it comes to rent reviews for health centre-based pharmacies.

In 2020, Lloydspharmacy – which has more than 1,400 pharmacies across the UK – said it had closed 99 pharmacies in the preceding 12 months, suggesting that in some cases this was due to "unsustainable rents" set by health centre landlords.

In a statement to C+D, Lloydspharmacy said that “the increasing financial pressures facing community pharmacy, combined with the reduction in footfall to pharmacies located in GP settings during COVID-19, has made it increasingly difficult to maintain a sustainable pharmacy network”.

 

Read more: NHS landlords slap down multiples' health centre rent reduction pleas

 

“We’re disappointed by the continued lack of support and understanding shown by NHSPS, especially when community pharmacy plays a crucial role in protecting the health of the community,” a Lloydspharmacy spokesperson said.

The multiple has “previously called” for NHSPS to review the rent of its health centre-based branches, the spokesperson added. 

However, the NHS landlord confirmed to C+D last month that it had decided not to grant rent reductions to Lloydspharmacy, which told C+D in 2020 that it was looking for NHSPS to slash rents for its branches located in health centres by 25%.

 

Rent determined on “rate per patient basis”

 

NHSPS operates a system where rent for pharmacies located in health centres is calculated based on the number of patients registered at a surgery.

But Lloydspharmacy stressed that this is “outdated and no longer fit for purpose”.

“It would be more effective and reasonable if it was reflective of the actual footfall,” they added. 

An NHSPS spokesperson said: “All rental valuations undertaken by NHSPS are in line with current guidance.

 

Read more: Health centre pharmacy faces potential 220% rent hike, contractor claims

 

“When valuing a co-located pharmacy unit, we use standard valuation methodology where rent is determined on a rate per patient basis.

“We do make adjustments for levels of prescribing and capture rates and the rollout of the Electronic Prescription Service is taken into consideration to ensure that rent valuations are fair and transparent.”  

Earlier this month, a pharmacy contractor with branches across east London claimed to C+D that NHSPS had suggested the rent for his co-located pharmacy could increase by as much as 220%.

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