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Well closes Bristol branch as part of 'portfolio review'

Well: It was a "difficult decision" to close the Staple Hill store

A branch of Well Pharmacy in Bristol has been closed as part of the multiple’s “ongoing portfolio review”, C+D has learned.

It was a “difficult decision” to close the Staple Hill store, a Well spokesperson told C+D on Tuesday (November 29).

“As a business, we continually review our estate, which can sometimes lead to relocations, re-fittings, the opening of new branches and occasional closures,” it added.

Independent contractor Jon Campbell, who is based in Bristol, suggested on Twitter that this could be the “first of many” pharmacy closures in the area, as a result of the 12% cut to pharmacy funding in England that comes into force today.

Richard Brown, chief officer of Avon local pharmaceutical committee, also predicted to C+D that deep cash-flow shortages over the next four months could result in closures in the region.

'Unrelated to the cuts'

Well told C+D the closure in Staple Hill “isn’t related to the funding cuts in any way”, and stressed it is part of its “standard ongoing portfolio review”.

The spokesperson added that before closing a store, it always assesses whether patient care will be affected.

“Our priority is to ensure local patients still have access to a pharmacy in the immediate vicinity, and therefore we direct customers to our nearest local store, which offers the same expert advice and services,” they said.

Data published by NHS Digital last month revealed that a total of 39 pharmacies closed in 2015-16 – six more than the previous year. However, this was offset by 47 new openings.

6 Comments
Question: 
Have any pharmacies near you closed recently?

Call Me Cycnical, Senior Management

Their carehome model with Wellpad is tanking too. They are trying to give it away in return for prescription business.

Fionn McDonald, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

If the bottom line is marginal, don't expect to see that branch around much longer. No amount of generosity or well meaning can pay for fixed and variable costs, the same applies to all healthcare provision. Healthcare economics and economics in general is a cold hard fact of life.

Chemical Mistry, Information Technology

It is well known they paided to much for the coop shops now the  time to repent at leisure.

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Well Armageddon has been predicted by the contractor crew. We now enter the testing phase for this assertion. If by the end of 2017 we do not see severe financial distress in the sector and beginning of the predicted mass closures, then we might begin to question such assertions. Interestingly, sales agents report very robust activity, so not a great start. 

This is, of course, in stark contrast to the predictions made by employee/locum pharmacists. They predicted significant falls in hourly rates and massively increased workloads. These predictions have been proven to be absolutely accurate. 

One might argue that the inaccuracy of former predictions is explained by the accuracy of the latter predictions.  

Dave Downham, Manager

1 down, 2,999 to go?

Courage Asemota, Locum pharmacist

Portfolio Review = Close shops that are under performing and move the funds to shops that are performing. Thats hedge fund manager and banker speak. Its nothing to do with patient care its all about profits and loss accounts. 

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