Mapped: Areas hardest hit by supermarket pharmacy closures
See which UK areas have the highest number of closing supermarket pharmacies – and hear why local LPCs aren’t worried about added workload
Over 250 pharmacies in supermarket chains will have closed by the end of this year.
It follows Lloydspharmacy’s announcement in January, exclusively revealed by C+D, that it would withdraw pharmacy services from all its branches in Sainsbury’s supermarkets over the course of 2023.
Last week, C+D revealed that all of the 237 Sainsbury’s Lloydspharmacy branches had closed for good by last Tuesday (June 13).
However, not all parts of the UK will be hit by these supermarket pharmacy closures equally.
The most affected areas were:
- Greater London – 15
- Kent – 14
- Surrey – 13
- West Midlands – 10
- Essex – 10
- Cheshire – 10
- Hampshire – 10
- Devon – 8
- Greater Manchester – 8
- Hertfordshire – 8
- Berkshire – 8
- Lancashire – 8
View all closures by area
Use the map below to see how many Lloydspharmacy-Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda branches have closed or are closing in each UK area. The darker the colour, the more closed pharmacies in that area.
And use the map below to see the location of each Lloydspharmacy-Sainsbury’s (orange), Tesco (blue) and Asda (green) branch that has closed or is closing.
Adapting to added workload
Greater London is one of the areas most affected by supermarket pharmacy closures, losing 15 such branches this year, according to C+D’s analysis.
But Hitesh Patel, chief executive officer of Community Pharmacy Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster (KCW), said that he did not anticipate “any problems with neighbouring pharmacies picking up the workload”, in part due to the fact that “NHS script volumes [there] tend to be lower than other areas”.
“Most pharmacies are very good at adapting to increased workloads,” Mr Patel told C+D. He said that the closures had been discussed by his local pharmaceutical committee (LPC), and that the local branch of NHS England (NHSE) had been keeping the team up to date.
Mr Patel added that he hoped that no electronic transfer of prescriptions (ETPs) issued by GPs would be sent to closed branches.
Meanwhile, 10 supermarket pharmacies are closing in the county of Cheshire.
Adam Irvine, chief executive officer of Community Pharmacy Cheshire & Wirral, told C+D that the LPC had been working with “local place leads as well as the integrated care board (ICB) team” on “instances where pharmacy services are reduced”.
This included Lloydspharmacy branches in Sainsbury’s that have closed, “as well as other changes to the pharmacy market”, he said.
“We work hard to make sure that contractors are aware of key dates of closures, including when they change as well as the patient numbers within local geographies that had nominations to the pharmacies that are closing, with communications coming both from our local ICB commissioning leads and the LPC,” Mr Irvine told C+D.
He added that the team “encourage the contractors and their teams” to plan for any expected influx of patients. He said that the LPC had also worked with the closing pharmacies to ensure “clear and consistent” communication for their patients.
“Local relief” for workforce pressures
Karen Samuel-Smith, chief officer of Community Pharmacy Essex, pointed out that some of the affected pharmacies located in Essex would actually fall under the purview of London LPCs.
She said that it made sense for Essex to have a higher number of supermarket pharmacy closures than many other areas “simply because we are a large county”.
She told C+D that the LPC had been looking at “prescription numbers and service provision” of the closing Lloydspharmacy branches in Sainsbury’s supermarkets.
It had also been working with the local health and wellbeing board to update the local pharmaceutical needs assessment (PNA) with supplementary statements.
Ms Samuel-Smith was also confident about pharmacy teams’ ability to handle any additional workload from the closures. She said that, “without exception”, the closed Lloydspharmacy pharmacies were “relatively low-volume sites” that had been “winding down services over several months”.
This meant that other local pharmacies had been able to pick up additional dispensing and services gradually, she said.
“The closures have also resulted in some local relief for workforce pressures as staff have been recruited locally,” Ms Samuel-Smith added.
It comes as Well Pharmacy last week (June 14) revealed to C+D that it had taken on “a number of” former Lloydspharmacy staff in the wake of the multiple’s withdrawal from Sainsbury’s.
And C+D revealed on Friday (June 16) that the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) and NHSE are continuing to work with Lloydspharmacy on the impact of the multiple’s Sainsbury’s branch closures.