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ASDA announces closure of seven in-store pharmacies

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A week after LloydsPharmacy announced the closure of all its pharmacy branches in Sainsbury’s store, ASDA has also revealed the closing of seven pharmacies of its 254 in-store pharmacies.

“ASDA have announced cost cutting changes to their stores, placings hundreds of employees at risk of redundancy and thousands facing a pay cut,” said the Pharmacists Defence Association (PDA).

The association has raised concern on all pharmacists impacted those impacted by the closure of seven in-store pharmacies.

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 a worrying further instance of reductions in access to a pharmacy for patients and we expect those who represent communities to be concerned about the loss of a key part of their local NHS service. ”

The PDA also highlights 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 told 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 to ensure their own pharmacies are adequately resourced for future volume.

As in the case of any job loss, the PDA Union will be doing all it can for those members impacted by this decision.

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.”

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

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