Press Release: PDA respond to Lloyds Pharmacy announcement about store closures

The PDA will be supporting any members affected by the announcement made by Lloyds Pharmacy about potential pharmacy closures/changes of ownership.

Fri 27th October 2017 The PDA

The PDA will be supporting any members affected by the announcement made by Lloyds Pharmacy about potential pharmacy closures/changes of ownership.

Lloyds Pharmacy announced on 26 October that they intend to cease to trade in 190 pharmacies in England.  This is likely to be achieved through a combination of selling branches to other pharmacies and closures.  This is the first major closure announcement following government funding cuts to community pharmacy and we suspect that other companies are currently reconsidering the ongoing viability of their own pharmacy network.

The pharmacy sector said that widespread pharmacy closures would happen and now all those MPs who argued against these cuts in the many parliamentary debates on the subject have been proved to be correct.

Our immediate concerns will naturally be about the livelihoods and wellbeing of our members who find themselves in one of the affected pharmacies. Many employees will have certain statutory protections; however, we urge any affected PDA members to contact us so that we can advise them on their individual position and support them through the process. The PDA team includes experts in employment law so we can help with every aspect of such a change.

PDA will also be increasing our discussions about the impact of cuts for pharmacists and of course the impact on patients and their care. PDA have previously lobbied to discuss the potential impact of the pharmacy closures upon the public and consequences elsewhere in the health system.

PDA will ensure that members seeking our support get appropriate help to get the full benefit of their legal and contractual rights as specifics become clear and we’ll work appropriately with the company to find agreed solutions with our members whenever possible.

Mark Pitt, Director of Defence at PDA said “Our members are understandably concerned about this announcement.  We are already hearing from those who expect to be directly affected and others who have worries about their branches.  Once more details are known we will be able to help individuals with any specific concerns. 

Pharmacists can be reassured that the PDA will help ensure that their employment rights are protected and they are treated fairly.  Members should contact us for advice if they are affected by these closures.


Notes: The text of the letter to Lloyds employees is as follows:

Sent on behalf of Cormac Tobin, Managing Director


Dear colleagues,

You are aware that the world of healthcare is changing and so is patient behaviour. You will also know that government action, not just pharmacy funding cuts, but business rates and the apprenticeship levy, amongst other things make market conditions challenging. As the external world evolves, businesses need to adapt to the changing landscape and ours is no exception. It is appropriate for us to constantly review our business model in order to operate efficiently and give customers and patients a compelling reason to use us.

With pressures in the economic and funding landscape, it is vital that we take a leading role in the evolution of community pharmacy, to ensure that our business is sustainable for the future. This has resulted in us having to take some difficult decisions, which will mean us making some changes to our operations. Today I am announcing that we will cease to trade in approximately 190 of our pharmacies in England, through a combination of store closures and divestments.

I realise that change can be difficult and uncertainty is unsettling. However, in line with our ICARE values, careful consideration is always given to the changes we make to minimise the impact on you and to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our patients and customers, both now and in the future. These actions are not being taken lightly, but they are necessary. We will keep you fully updated as the process develops and we are here to support anyone affected by these changes.

While we continually review our business model in order to operate efficiently, this also presents an opportunity for us to build our growth platform, one of our five strategic priorities, set ourselves up for the future and build our reputation as a trusted partner of the NHS. This is the beginning of a transformation for our business that will combine the accessibility of our physical pharmacies and their teams, the customer convenience of digital channels and harness the skills of our people to provide a broader range of healthcare in people’s homes, communities, or wherever they need it.

This news may leave you with some questions and we will do all we can to keep you informed. We are also doing everything possible to ensure colleagues directly affected by this announcement are briefed today. If you have any immediate concerns please talk to your line manager. If you have any colleagues who do not have access to email, please ensure this message is shared with your teams as soon as possible.

If for any reason you are approached by a journalist or member of the media, please direct them to the corporate communications team. They are here to deal with any external enquiries and make sure that both our business and our colleagues are protected. If you are approached by the media please contact Claire Salmons (; 07740 500525 – 024 7662 5530) or Joe Scholes (; 07736 465040 – 024 7643 2055).

Kind Regards

Cormac Tobin

Managing Director

Celesio UK


About the PDA:

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) is a not-for-profit organisation and trade union which aims to act upon and support the needs of individual pharmacists and, when necessary, defend their reputations. The PDA is the only organisation in UK pharmacy that exclusively looks after the interests of employee and locum pharmacists across all sectors of pharmacy, and currently has more than 27,000 members.

The primary aims of the PDA are to:

·         Support pharmacists in their legal, practice and employment needs

·         Provide representation for its members

·         Proactively seek to influence the professional, practice and employment agenda so that members can deliver high quality care

·         Lead and support initiatives designed to improve the knowledge and skills of pharmacists towards improved risk management, safer practice and high-quality patient care

·         Work with like-minded organisations to deliver these aims

·         Provide insurance cover to safeguard and defend the reputation of the individual pharmacist.




Editors requiring further information should contact:

Paul Day

Tel: 0121 694 7000,


The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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