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Lloyds branch under internal investigation for pharmacy closure sign

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Lloydspharmacy Crighton Place, Edinburgh (Credit: The Local Data Company)
The Lloydspharmacy branch displayed the hand-written sign in the window last month (Credit: The Local Data Company)

A Lloydspharmacy is under investigation for closing due to “unforeseen staffing circumstances” and failing to direct patients elsewhere, the multiple has said.

The Edinburgh branch – in Crighton Place – had a sign in its window last month (February 17), notifying customers that it had closed for parts of the day “due to a lack of organisation from our head office”.

The sign (pictured below) also advised customers to call Lloydspharmacy's head office “if [they] would like to make a complaint”.

Lloydspharmacy area manager David Padkin told C+D on Monday (March 5) the branch “is subject to an internal investigation”, after failing to follow the multiple’s procedures.

“When any of our pharmacies are unable to provide pharmaceutical services due to unforeseen staffing circumstances, we have a process whereby our teams seek support through various channels – their line manager, area manager, cluster team and superintendent's office,” he explained.

“In the regrettable situation where a pharmacy is unable to provide pharmaceutical services and has to close, our process includes signposting patients to the nearest pharmacy or to their GP.

“On this occasion, our process was not followed,” he added.

The multiple is taking “the matter very seriously” and is “very sorry that patients and customers have been inconvenienced”, Mr Padkin stressed.

The Crighton Place branch declined to comment when C+D contacted them.

37 Comments
Question: 
Are staffing levels adequate in your pharmacy?

Ahmed Hassay, Locum pharmacist

Sums up community pharmacy

John Blake, Retail Management

Line manager, Area manager, Cluster Team - that just about sums it up.  When I started with Lloyds we had one area manager. Soon I had three area bosses and a corresponding fall in shop staffing levels.

Lloyds can not have it all ways - top heavy management and insufficient retail staff.  Who suffers in the end?  The poor patients - who at least were informed. correctly in my mind by yet another overworked Lloyds pharmacist.

Graham Pharmacist, Senior Management

Hang on a minute. Why is the branch and it's staff under internal investigation?

Surely Lloyds are the ones who should be under investigation by the local CCG and GPhC?

Interleukin$ Locum, Community pharmacist

That poster took some balls. I am awed

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Indeed it did, and that is why you know it wasn’t the pharmacist. 

Brian Austen, Senior Management

NHS England are supposed to monitor pharmacies. Failure to open can be considered a breach of contract. If anyone from NHS England is reading this, I suspect not, enforcement notice!?

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

Geography aside, failure to open can be considered a breach - "considered" being the operative word. A lot depends on circumstances. Personally, I know of lots of circumstances where pharmacies did not open due to lack of locum cover - not aware of any breach notices then. I think it depends on a proprotional response and the impact of any closure

Disillusioned Sussex chic, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

A contract is a contract. Failure to fulfill that contract is a breach. It is Lloyds responsibility to make sure there are adequate staffing levels in all their stores. Why so many 'area' bod's? they tried cluster managers before and it failed. why don't the big bods as the workers on the ground what is needed, I'm sure things would work a lot better.

A Hussain, Senior Management

Firstly, why are you so mean Brian? Secondly, did you do geography at school?

Brian Austen, Senior Management

I am not being mean to individuals, I am holding large corporate businesses to account. I am sure the staff in the pharmacy are hard-working conscientious and without fault. Now Geography! Don't understand why I mentioned NHS England, should have said Health Board. My Geography is usually good. By the way I've lived and worked in Edinburgh twice which makes my error even more ridiculous.

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Brian last time I checked Edinburgh wasn't in England.

Andrew Nicholson, Community pharmacist

If they run there shops like they do their wholesale business i would have walked as well!No deliveries from Glasgow depot down to North East,no communication,no common sense,where is their business continuity plan!Joke the whole industry at the moment!

 

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

With respect, Andrew, the weather has been very bad in Central & Southern Scotland & the North East. Getting staff to your pharmacy is one thing, getting a trunker down snow covered roads is really quite different

C A, Community pharmacist

And yet Alliance managed deliveries to the North East and AAH didn't.

Paul Okon, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

In such dire situation why are people intimating on here that the phamacist is the one that would be investigated.

C A, Community pharmacist

The 'Responsible Pharmacist' is legally responsible for the branch. If they didn't follow procedure head office will likely shift the blame to their door.

K Shah, Community pharmacist

Why should the Pharmacy be under investigation it should be the company itself. Hats on to the pharmacy to actually put up the sign in this current situation there is absolutely no proper staffing in almost if the stores and managers have to get on with it! And would do line managers say when you ring for help is to phone other stores to ask for staff! As if other stores have staff to give away! That’s the protocol so I totally understand what the pharmacy must be going through in order to put that sign up. Atleast they were thinking of patient safety and decided it not safe to open. In this current day and age everyone can access other places for health needs so I donot understand why this pharmacy is being investigated. The pressure and staffing level needs to be investigated at a company level but like we all know nothing ever works in the favour of the pharmacists! Which is such a disappointing profession to be in when there is absolutely no job satisfaction for community pharmacists working in big multiples.

Graham Pharmacist, Senior Management

I agree with K Shah. The pharmacy staff and manager must have been going through turmoil in order to go to the lengths to close the pharmacy. Some one should find out why the area manager and company it self allowwed this to even happen?

Is it even a crime that the pharmacist on-duty had no option but to close down? No. Is it a crime that pharmacies in England are being forced into this corner? Yes.

Disillusioned Sussex chic, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

Staffing and stock ----- both minimal. BUT, you can buy on line ok? If lloyds are heading that way, Boot's and other companies will do well won't they?

paul lisbon, GP

The handwritting is nice!

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

No smiley face at the bottom of the notice???

Disillusioned Sussex chic, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, and if wit was ........ well, they do sell things for constipation in lloyds pharmacy (if you can find one open now)

Danny TheRed, Community pharmacist

The sign obviously has been written by someone at their wits end and extremely stressed, who is to blame? I know whom I would apportion the blame on....

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

Read the sign - PMSL!

Mohammed Patel, Community pharmacist

The fact that a comment about the manager being honest was redacted speaks volumes. Who is controlling the C&D?

Paul Okon, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

Why would that be removed ??

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Shouldn't the GPhC be involved as this is possibly dangerous for patients? Are they not wanting to protect the public anymore ?

Mohammed Patel, Community pharmacist

The only thing they actually do is sanction pharmacists these days. Occasionally Rudkin makes a comment on an irrelevant topic to show how out of touch he is with the industry. And that's about it.

Paul Okon, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

Careful! could that be deemed slander?!

C A, Community pharmacist

It's a written comment so it would be Libel.

He could cover himself by stating "in my opinion"

Although the other defence against defamation (libel/slander) is if the statement is true, with written evidence to support it. 

So is Rudkin on record talking about irrelevant topics or talking in such a way as to give the impression of being out of touch? 

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