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Home  »   Latest News   »   PDA to support members at Rowlands concerned with ‘Close, Merge and Divest’ strategy

PDA to support members at Rowlands concerned with ‘Close, Merge and Divest’ strategy

The PDA is reminding members employed at Rowlands that they can call upon support from the PDA in relation to any potential redundancies or TUPE transfer consultation process.

Wed 15th November 2023 The PDA

Rowlands Pharmacy, which is owned by the German parent company Phoenix, has declared an annual loss of over £200M for the financial year ending 31 January 2023. Rowlands said the main cause was underfunding of the England community pharmacy contract by the NHS. 

In a company statement, the business said that a number of pharmacies had already been divested during the previous financial year and that they now had an ongoing strategy to close, merge, or dispose of branches in England. Since the latest financial year-end, Rowlands has nevertheless acquired 30 more branches in Scotland where there is a different NHS contractual framework.

Should PDA members employed by Rowlands find they are subject to any consultation process about the future of their branch, they should contact the PDA Member Support Centre for advice and representation. PDA members are entitled to request a PDA Union Representative to support them at any formal meeting where they have a right to union representation.

Mark Pitt, PDA Union General Secretary said, The PDA Union will support individual members impacted by the ‘Close, Merge and Divest’ strategy of Rowlands so that they can be familiar with and exercise their rights at work.

The PDA Union has extensive experience of supporting pharmacists in comparable situations as we’ve seen similar strategies from LloydsPharmacy, Boots, and others.

In addition to the individual impact on pharmacists, this company announcement is a further loss of pharmacy access for patients and we expect those who represent local communities to be concerned about the loss of a key part of their local NHS services.”

Impact on other pharmacies

When pharmacies close this can bring consequences for other pharmacies nearby. For example, if a significant patient volume migrates to another pharmacy, there must be enough additional resources, staffing, and physical space in that pharmacy to safely cope with the increase in business.

Many pharmacists tell the PDA that they are already concerned about resource levels and so both Rowlands and other pharmacy operators near pharmacies identified to close need to plan to ensure their own pharmacies are adequately resourced for any increased demand.

Questions about potential redundancy?

PDA members can access the PDA’s PDA Redundancy and Restructuring Briefing here. The PDA’s redundancy guide can also be accessed here.

Support for PDA members

As in the case of any job loss, the PDA Union will be doing all it can for those members impacted by this decision. The PDA knows from experience that in such circumstances there are multiple consequences for employees.

Mark Pitt continued, “PDA members can contact our Member Support Centre for advice in due course and in the meantime should ensure they read communications from the PDA. I encourage those who are not yet members to join the PDA as soon as possible.”

Learn more

Not yet a member?

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists and for the first three months of being newly qualified.


Read about our key member benefits here.







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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