Rowlands Pharmacy on Monday announced a proposal to review opening hours across its pharmacies in England.
Calling it a move towards the core hours it is contracted to provide, the Phoenix group-owned pharma chain said it can no longer sustain the cost of opening beyond core contracted hours.
“Rowlands has proposed this change as a direct consequence of the funding austerity facing community pharmacy in England which has made the network economically unsustainable. Government funding for community pharmacy in England has been capped over the next five years which in real terms, taking account of rising costs and inflation, means a reduction in funding,” the company said in a statement.
However, the proposal does not apply to Rowlands’ pharmacies in Scotland and Wales as the funding there “are more robust”.
The multiple anticipates the changes to result in a reduction of 10 hours per branch on average each working week with minimal impact on customers.
The proposal is currently being discussed with the pharmacy staff and a final decision is expected by the end of the month.
“Rowlands reiterates that with a pledge of £34bn in new funding for the NHS now is the time for the Government to invest in community pharmacy and reverse the decline in the network which has seen hundreds of pharmacies close at a time when GP surgeries and A&E departments are struggling to cope with demand,” the statement further added.