Layer 1

Lloyds chief can't guarantee cuts won't lead to job losses

Mr Tobin: I don’t intend to close any stores

The managing director of Lloydspharmacy's parent company cannot promise that no staff will lose their jobs as a result of the funding cuts. 

“I don’t intend to close any stores," Celesio UK's Cormac Tobin told C+D in an exclusive interview last month (February 14).

However, Mr Tobin “won't make any commitments” on whether all of the company’s staff – who number approximately 17,000 – will keep their jobs. 

“I run a business at the end of the day. I don't make any empty promises about how we're going to do it,” he said.

Mr Tobin said Celesio UK has "considerably tightened [its] belt" since December's drop in funding across England, and he is "looking at every cost right across [the] business".

“Whatever changes we make, the impact on the customer is most important. If we make changes to personnel that impact customers, we're going to go out of business anyway," he added. 

Sympathy for independents

Mr Tobin also expressed concern for the plight of independent pharmacies trying to survive the funding drop.

“The cuts must keep a lot of people awake at night,” he said. “It's so draconian. Frontline pharmacy is hard and owning your own store is even harder.

"How would you feel running a business that's dropped £20,000-30,000 because of the change? Upset. Distressed," he added.

Brexit brings added pressure

While the sector comes to terms with the funding cuts, Mr Tobin said “in terms of big business, Brexit has created more uncertainty than anything".

Celesio UK has set up a “Brexit task force” to manage the effects on the business of the UK leaving the European Union. 

"[We are] already seeing retail slow down... and increasing [medicine] pricing pressure," Mr Tobin added.

Are you concerned about your job as a result of the funding cuts?

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Welcome to the Ben Stokes show.....

ben stokes, Student

*This comment has been deleted for breaching C+D's community principles*

ben stokes, Student

instead of  petty school boy remarks, prove i am wrong.....if things are soooooooooooooooo bad why are pharmacies being sold at a premium> 

why are ppl opening online pharmacies?

margins are still around 25% if you buy at competitive prices...




find another partner you an online pharmacy

u can buy sops online..

store minimum stock levels..locum on the side until the business is viable...


the population is increasing thanks to mass uncontrolled immigration - rx numbers will increase....due to the lower costs of online pharmacies, you can stil make good money as the initial outlay is very small...around £20,000


Dave Downham, Manager

What's it like on your planet? Do you ever get to visit Earth? Or use grammar?

ben stokes, Student

The funding may have gone down but so has the price of generic drugs.......

That coupled with cheap foreign labour.....$$$$$$$$$$ still good money to be made in community pharmacy...........Pharmacy sales at a christies....

contractors are the winners.....locuns  - wait till the autumn...3000 newly qualifed pharmacists ...lucky to get £15 hr 

ben stokes, Student

*This comment has been deleted for breaching C+D's community principles*

ben stokes, Student

As a contractor, i would love more money but as a tax payer i rather money was invested in GP surgeries/A&E instead of pharmacy. ACTs are takng over pharmacies and as such the funding should be decreased to reflect this. 

Majority of work in pharmacy is dispensing and its hardly rocket science. The dispensing fee should be cut to 50p, and the money saved should be invested into A/E and hard pressed GP practices....GP should be earning £150,000 a year to attract more drs into the profession and contractors should help the NHS to achieve this noble cause. 


Mohammed Zeeshan, Locum pharmacist


It's people like you that ruin it for pharmacy, dispensing fee cut to £0.50p would **** the rate pharmacists get paid at. what we need is advancements in the role of a pharmacists so that we are in demand and a heirachy in experience vs pay. 

ben stokes, Student

Demand and you honestly think if dispening fee was £2, your hourly rates would increase. the main man said its a business and thats why they didnt like the brexit vote as its gonna put a stop to cheap foreign labour.....its not me thats the problem, its ppl like you that work for these rates and then moan about the financial remuneration. 

how can pharmacists be in demand....they hv closed 100 hr loop hole...influx of cheap eastern europeans, 3000 british pharmacists qualified...wake up and smell the coffee.....

my accountant told me he does the books for a locum up north who gets £12 per hr.  LOLOLOL


ben stokes, Student is a business not a charity.....if you dont like the pay structure, sell up and look for pastures may not like the current funding but that's how it provide free collection delivery dosste boxes to your customers then have the audacity to moan and funding....i will give you some free advice.....STOP PROVIDING FREE SERVICES !!!!!!and if your shops are not making any money, sell up..Theres a que of ppl waiting I BET YOU DONT .!!!!! or is there one rule for pharmacy owners and another for rule for any other business....


what are you looking for? sympathy..where was the sympathy when you cut locum rates to levels seen in 2001/2. Locums havent had a payrise in 15 years..WHY SHOULD YOU?  

demand supply............simple economics.....until contractors value their time and stop providing free services ie collection delivery/carehomes, dosettes , then you have no one to blame but yourself!!!


PoPeYe- Popeys Car Wash, Community pharmacist

As the man says....stop providing free services and importantly- don't then worry that nice old Mr. Brown in the independant up the road will do them and take your customers from you. The days of Community Pharmacy having some slack in a reasonably well remunerated day in which to do a little Health Centre/Social Services work are well and truly over. Certain establishments using their in-store pharmacies as a loss leader/visit incentivator and then feeling the urge to reduce locum rates is the other side of the same coin. Look up Popeyes Car Wash on Youtube to get a flavour of The Emperors New Clothes such as dosette boxes.

ben stokes, Student

why not just have a free for a pharmacy wherever you like and the government only intervening in places  which are not viable and then providing funding to the cheapest provider.


I dont think you will get much sympathy from locum/independent pharmacist Toby. Most independent pharmacists are doing well...they have diversified and are providing new services...and those who want to sell wont find any shortage of buyers.....ask christies..

ben stokes, Student

yeh i am guessing you didnt like the result of brexit as it will put a stop to cheap foreign labour ie pharmacists at the expense of british pharmacists, who have to endure debts of £30,000 to complete a degree and then undercut by foreign pharmacists who in most cases have their degrees paid for..........

Dave Downham, Manager

Can you troll a troll?

Dodo pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Looks like the troll Sami khadeira/ Mesut Ozil is now back on posting as Ben stokes. He has gone from football to cricket!

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

I think (s)he had a spell believing Kevin Pietersen was right too...

P M, Community pharmacist

agreed same old comments from someone who still lives with his mum.

ben stokes, Student

Where should mum live? nursing home? is that where your mum  resides? why get personal? make you feel good? Why not be professional, constructive and make a useful comment. 



ben stokes, Student

Why do you have to get personal? lol  are the cuts affecting you?

Farm Assistant, Community pharmacist

I think you have been doing too much crystal meth.....all the best walter

Job of the week

Pharmacist Manager
Midlands, Cheshire & Dorset
Salary dependent upon experience