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Boots temporarily closes 60 branches due to COVID-19

Most of the temporary Boots closures are in central London or airports

Boots has temporarily closed 60 pharmacies seeing reduced footfall amid the COVID-19 outbreak, as the locations patients visit has “changed fundamentally in the last few weeks”.

Employees in the branches that have closed will either be deployed to nearby Boots pharmacies, or furloughed and asked to stay at home, the multiple told C+D yesterday (April 15).

Branches located in airports, central London and shopping centres have had “very few people” visiting them, whereas local community pharmacies have seen “more than double” the number of patients, Boots said.

“We need to make sure that we have enough colleagues playing their vital role where it’s currently most needed,” it added.

The multiple said it has seen “higher absence recently”, and had therefore asked its “pharmacy, healthcare, and store management colleagues working in quieter stores to help teams in nearby busy pharmacies”.

The health and beauty giant said its priorities are to “support the NHS, ensure access to a pharmacy for every community, and look after [its] amazing and selfless colleagues as they serve on the front line”.

Of the pharmacies 25 closed last Thursday (April 9) while a further 35 closed across the UK yesterday (April 14).

The majority of the pharmacies, 31, are in London, 10 in airports and the remaining 19 located across the UK.

Patients will be redirected to the nearest alternative Boots branch, which “in most cases is a short walk away”, the multiple added.

A Boots spokesperson said it “will not leave a community without a pharmacy”.

“We would like to thank our colleagues for their work and our customers for their support and generosity,” they added.

A Boots spokesperson said: “The decision on when these stores will reopen has not been made at this stage. However, we are closely monitoring the situation and will reassess each store on an ongoing basis." 

The 60 branches that have closed are:

Closed Boots branch
Nearest Boots branch
London Stratford City
Stratford
Covent Garden Long Acre
Piccadilly Circus
London White City Shopping Centre, Ariel Way
Shepherds Bush
London 193 Oxford Street
Sedley Place
London Piccadilly
Piccadilly Circus
London 508-520 Oxford Street
Sedley Place
London 16 Tottenham Court Road
120 Tottenham Court Road
London 100 Oxford Street
Sedley Place
London Canary Wharf Jubilee
Canada Place, Canary Wharf
London Moorgate
Bishopsgate
London Cannon Street
Gracechurch Street
London 302 Regent Street
Sedley Place
London Monument
Gracechurch Street
London Fenchurch Street
Gracechurch Street
London Farringdon Road
Holborn
London Strand (temporary store)
Strand
London Paternoster Square
Cheapside
London New Bridge Street
Fleet Street
London Canary Wharf Cabot Square
Canada Place, Canary Wharf
London Houndsditch
Gracechurch Street
London 211 Tottenham Court Road
120 Tottenham Court Road
London High Holborn
Holborn
London Victoria Cardinal Place
Victoria Street
London One New Change Shopping Centre
Cheapside
London Liverpool Street Station
Bishopsgate
Manchester Trafford Centre
Trafford Retail Park
Leeds Trinity
Leeds Merry Centre
Gateshead Metro Centre
Team Valley
Edinburgh 101 Princes Street
Shandwick Place
Liverpool Clayton Square Shopping Centre
Liverpool Church Street
Dartford Bluewater Park
Crayford
Bristol Cribbs Causeway
Bradley Stoke
London Charing Cross Station
Strand
London Victoria Place
Victoria Station
London Kings Cross Station
St Pancras
London Kings Cross Station
St Pancras
Birmingham New Street
Birmingham Bullring
Liverpool Lime Street
Liverpool London Road
Newcastle Central Station
Newcastle Blackett Station
Reading Station Over Bridge
Reading Station
Edinburgh Waverly Street Station
Shandwick Place
London Marylebone Station
Baker Street
London Bridge Station
Hays Galleria
Newcastle Airport
Westerhope
Glasgow Airport
Dumbarton
Birmingham Airport
Birmingham
Leeds Bradford Airport
Rawdon
Aberdeen Airport Airside Departures
Garthdee
Heathrow T2 BS arrivals
T2 Airsides
Heathrow T3 AS
Heathrow T5
Heathrow T3 BS departures
Heathrow T5
Heathrow T4 BS departures
Heathrow T5
Heathrow T4 AS
Heathrow T5
Gatwick South AS lower
Gatwick South
Newry Buttercrane shopping centre
Newry
Caerphilly Castle Court
Llantrisant
Ballymena Fairhill shopping centre
Ballymena
Stockport Peel shopping centre
Stockport Merseyway
Newry The Quays shopping centre
Newry
Belfast Great Northern Mall
Donegal Place
10 Comments
Question: 
What do you make of Boots' decision?

Career Miss Take, Locum pharmacist

Boots are the GPHC and Psnc 

Joan Richardson, Locum pharmacist

Some of these branches will be the regular pharmacy for some patients and their prescriptions will be automatically sent there.  Another branch can manage to get these prescriptions as long as they have not been downloaded.  However what about the ones already dispensed and bagged ready for collection?

 

Sarah Smythe, Information Technology

So they are closing these 60 as well as the other 60 announced at end of last year..........Pessina really killed that company off before selling.

Uma Patel, Community pharmacist

He still owns it

V K P, Community pharmacist

the information is there if bothered to read.

Alexander The Great, Community pharmacist

How can they get away with this when they are contracted to open. There is clear guidance of reducing opening hrs.... not to completely close tho!! What about those people who live in London who need rxs?!?!

Paul Guest, Manager

There are as in the article many pharmacies nearby. The regulations allow pharmacy contractors to apply for temporary closure. 

Alexander The Great, Community pharmacist

pharmacyregulation.org/news/statement-pharmacy-closures-during-covid-19-pandemic

There is nothing here to say you can close. It breaches your NHS contract. You can reduce hours, but not close.

V K P, Community pharmacist

https://psnc.org.uk/our-news/temporary-closures-during-the-covid-19-outbreak/

 

Temporary suspension of services due to illness or other reasonable cause

A contractor may also close a pharmacy on a temporary basis if prevented from opening by reason of illness or other reasonable cause – for example, staff illness and absence or for the decontamination of the pharmacy.

NHSE&I has indicated that contractors closing temporarily for this reason must:

inform NHSE&I of the temporary closure (and any arrangements for continuity of service with other contractors/pharmacies);

update the pharmacy NHS 111 Directory of Services (DoS) profile; and

update the NHS Website.

NHSE&I is encouraging cooperation between community pharmacies and GP practices in primary care networks, to deliver the best care, and protect and maximise the capabilities of staff across

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

Doesn't matter what any regulations say. This is Boots and they can do whatever the hell they want and no-one will stop them.

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