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.