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Home  »   Latest News   »   PDA will support pharmacists as TESCO announce pharmacy closures

PDA will support pharmacists as TESCO announce pharmacy closures

TESCO are the latest supermarket pharmacy to announce permanent closures of some pharmacies.

Tue 31st January 2023 PDA Union

TESCO have followed ASDA and LloydsPharmacy (at Sainsbury’s) to announce cost cutting changes to their stores, impacting hundreds of jobs.   All three pharmacy chains are members of the Company Chemists Association.

The PDA’s interests in the announcement relate to the planned closure of eight in-store TESCO pharmacies and the impact of those closures upon pharmacists, however the union is of course concerned for all those impacted.

The PDA Union will support individual PDA members impacted by the decision so that they are aware of, and can exercise, their rights at work in relation to this situation.

Paul Day, PDA Union Director said, “In addition to the immediate impact on pharmacists employed at the stores marked for closure, this is the third instance in just twelve days of reductions in the overall access to a pharmacy for NHS patients.  We expect those who represent communities to be concerned about the loss of a key part of their local NHS service.” 

The PDA also reiterate that as politicians talk about asking community pharmacy to take on more of the NHS workload, the government need to clarify what is being done to ensure the overall sector has the capacity to do so. Capacity lost in supermarkets needs to be gained on the High Street or elsewhere in the community.

The NHS is also responsible for the funding level of the contract with community pharmacy operators, and in England under the previous Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, it chose to underfund the contract, causing predictable pressure on its viability, which is almost certain to be a factor in any corporation’s decisions to close pharmacies.

Impact on other pharmacies

Closures can also bring consequences for those who are not at risk of redundancy. For example, if 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 other pharmacy operators in close proximity to closing pharmacies need to be planning ahead now to ensure their own pharmacies are adequately resourced for future volume.

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.

PDA Union will be expecting pharmacists to receive adequate redundancy compensation and fair treatment as they try and seek alternative employment during any notice period.

Paul Day continued, Those pharmacists who are PDA members can contact our service centre for advice in due course and in the meantime should ensure they read communications from the PDA.”

Risk of redundancy

Specific jobs become redundant when the needs of the business for employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where they are employed ceases or diminishes. Therefore, if a company no longer need a pharmacist at a location at which a member’s employment was located due to a decision to close the in-store pharmacy, that person is at risk of redundancy.

Employers are required to try and avoid compulsory redundancies and though a specific role may be redundant, this does not automatically mean the individual ceases their employment if suitable alternative employment can be found. For example, there could be a vacancy for a pharmacist role at another of that employer’s locations within a reasonable distance of that person’s home. Any proposed alternative needs to be suitable for the individual and their circumstances.

However, a pharmacy closure would lead to the end of a pharmacist’s employment if there are no suitable alternatives available with the employer.


Not yet a PDA member?

Any employer could make a decision to close a pharmacy at any time.  The PDA exists to support employed and locum pharmacists, but can only give detailed legal support to members who were already part of the PDA before an issue emerged.

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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