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Lloydspharmacy sorry after Sainsburys branch faced anticipated 'delays' of two weeks

Lloydspharmacy has apologised after confirming that one of its Wiltshire branches at one point anticipated "delays" of up to two weeks following workforce-related "disruption to our service and opening hours".

A spokesperson for Lloydspharmacy confirmed to C+D yesterday (December 15) that its Sainsburys Bath Road branch in Chippenham has recently experienced problems with its service and opening hours “due to staff shortages”.

However, the "delays, previously expected to be around two weeks, have [now] been reduced to just a few days as we make it a priority to resume normal service”, they clarified. 

Lloydspharmacy was unable to clarify the nature of the delays when approached for further comment by C+D.

The multiple laid the blame for the disruption on “significant” workforce pressures “that are not unique to Lloydspharmacy”.

Lloydspharmacy “sincerely apologises” for “any inconvenience this may have caused”, they added.

It comes as tweet from Monday (December 12) showed a sign that C+D understands appeared in the affected branch indicating the delay was caused by “staffing levels”. 

The sign read: "Due to staffing levels, we are about two weeks behind so waiting times will vary [accordingly]."


“Sector-wide workforce issues”


The multiple pointed to widespread workforce problems currently affecting community pharmacy.

“At the moment, there is significant pressure on community pharmacy across the UK. This is due to sector-wide workforce issues that are not unique to Lloydspharmacy,” the spokesperson said.

Read more: Headache for Lloydspharmacy as new PMR system update ‘disruptive’

Pharmacists were added to the government’s shortage occupation list last year in a decision that was welcomed by some employers but questioned by some locums and the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA).

It follows a continued debate in the sector about whether widespread workforce issues in community pharmacy are down to a shortage of pharmacists or rather a lack of pharmacists willing to work in the sector in its current state.

Read more: Lloydspharmacy battling ‘significant challenges’ with flu jab service

Last month, the PDA claimed it had been made aware that the multiple plans to divest itself of “a number” of branches.

Meanwhile, earlier this year in May, several sources told C+D of the multiple’s alleged plans to sell a substantial number of branches. At the time, Lloydspharmacy said “no decisions” had been made.


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