HUNDREDS of jobs could be at risk after Lloyds Pharmacy confirmed plans to close up to 190 stores across the country.
Celesio UK, owners of the leading pharmacy service, announced its intention to cease trading though a combination of store closures and divestment.
The move comes as a result of recent ‘dramatic funding and reimbursement cuts’ by the NHS in the past 24 months and ‘increases in retrospective clawbacks’.
The Coventry-based group has stores in Bromsgrove, Rubery, Alvechurch, Frankley, Redditch, Northfield and Wythall but cannot comment further on which locations will be affected.
It will be looking for ‘potential buyers for the affected pharmacies but there will be a combination of sales and closures for the 190 stores’.
Cormac Tobin, managing director at Celesio UK, said: “We must respond to the dramatic funding and reimbursement cuts over the past 24 months but we will be doing all that we can to support those affected.
“Both the employees of the stores and the local communities are cared for as a priority, we would like to acknowledge that this is an unsettling time for our colleagues in the affected areas and we will be doing all we can to support them through the process.
“Community pharmacy needs to adapt to the changing requirements of patients and the NHS, indeed it should be part of the solution to an overstretched health service.
“To achieve this we need a new operational framework that creates a thriving pharmacy network that continues to offer essential integrated healthcare and is rooted in local communities.”