Lloydspharmacy: We got communication wrong on branch sale

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Lloydspharmacy
Lloydspharmacy: We sometimes have to make tough commercial decisions to divest or close stores

Lloydspharmacy has responded to a branch manager’s claims that the pharmacy team has been “pretty shoddily treated” ahead of the store’s sale.

The pharmacy was told in March that it is one of the 190 “commercially unviable” Lloydspharmacy branches in England where parent company Celesio UK is ceasing trading.

The manager, who wishes to remain anonymous, told C+D that in the lead-up to the announcement, the branch had 52 hours cut in one month. The manager also claims they have “hardly any staff”, and that one full-time employee has been sent to another branch.

The manager initially assumed the pharmacy would be “safe”, as they claim it is a “performing branch, not an unviable business”. But after being told the pharmacy would be “divested”, the staff at the branch were left “hanging” with no further information, the manager claimed.

The manager told C+D the team felt “very demoralised”, with “no one supporting [them]”, and “wondering what is going to happen every day”.

Lloydspharmacy: “Unfortunate” and “tough” decisions

Responding to the claims, Lloydspharmacy retail operations director Andrew Gibb said: “We are committed to fostering a supportive and caring environment for our pharmacy teams, but it sounds as if we’ve got the communication wrong here.

“Good business practice requires us to respond to market factors and changing customer behaviour, so we regularly review staffing levels as well as the viability of individual stores.

“We need to operate our stores profitably, while ensuring patient safety and colleague wellbeing,” he added.

“Where we do not believe that this is possible, we unfortunately sometimes have to make tough commercial decisions to divest or close a store, rather than put these at risk.”

Mr Gibb advised the staff at this pharmacy to contact their area manager “to discuss and clarify their situation”.

“We also have an employee assistance programme through which our teams can get advice and counselling where appropriate,” he added.

6 Comments
Question: 
Do you work for an affected Lloydspharmacy branch?

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

A 'manager' who doesn't know if his/her store is commercially viable? I am surprised to read this, doesn't Lloydspharmacy share their stores' P&L with the relevant managers anymore? If they don't, my next question is what do their managers manage?

, Manager

Mr Gibb, your staff are in distress and in tears in your very viable branches. A lot is going down in your branches.... Most of which you don't see or hear. I think the only commitment you and your area managers have is to waste NHS resources for the company's financial gain. If you truly are committed, I dare you to publish your salary and what you do in an average day.

*This comment has been edited in line with C+D community principles.*

Honest Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Couldn’t agree more! And the hours being reduced due to ‘cuts in NHS funding’ and ‘in order to ensure your branch doesn’t close’ is what we hear constantly. Our hours have just been cut by 165 hours a month - I kid you not! I have staff in tears most days and I can’t cope with such a reckless company any longer - never despised working for such a disorganised, dishonest and immoral company in all my life. You’re right about Mr. Gibb - it’s the same corporate rubbish we hear day in, day out, would they ever just stop and start acting with integrity?!

Beta Blocker, Primary care pharmacist

Just the tip of the iceberg. They've also got rid of area managers and increased the size of the area's for the managers that remain.

Add that to cutting hours and selling stores... Could it get any worse?

 

Jacqueline Davies, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

Not only have they got rid of area managers but they have replaced them with 'cluster' managers again! it didn't work the first time so what makes them think it will work again?. Independant pharmacies are now doing quite well and taking many of the patients that Lloyds once had. I do wish they would tailor their pharmacies (especially village ones) to the needs of the village or surrounding area rather than keep to a corporate look where some products will sit on the shelves without ever being sold. Let the store managers manage and ask the staff on the shop floor what works in their store. that's when you will get a profitable pharmacy.

Ghengis Pharm, Locum pharmacist

Blah, blah, blah, Mr Gibb. Usual management-speak with 'patient safety' and 'colleague wellbeing' dropped in to make you more human.and a point of contact for dumped staff to get 'advice and counselling where appropriate'. Take responsibilty yourself.  

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