Shropshire Star

Regional pharmacy chain says it can help those affected by closure of Lloyds store branches

A pharmacy chain in Shropshire, Wolverhampton and Birmingham says it is ready to step in to help patients affected by the pending closure of drug stores at Sainsbury's supermarkets.

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The Lloyds Pharmacy at Meole Brace, Shrewsbury. Picture: Google.

Lloyds Pharmacy has revealed it is set to pull out of its 237 pharmacy sites within Sainsbury’s supermarkets.

Among the branches it could affect are those in Sainsbury’s at Meole Brace Retail Park in Shrewsbury, Telford's Forge Retail Park, Wednesfield and Walsall.

Now MSN & Lunts Pharmacy Group says it can provide help.

A spokesman said: "We are saddened to learn of the news that our colleagues Lloyds Pharmacy are closing all of its pharmacy outlets in Sainsbury's, however with community pharmacy funding at an all-time low we are hardly surprised.

"As a business we continue to explore innovative ways to keep our heads above water while providing the best possible service to our patients."

Two of the Lloyds branches that will be affected are: Lloyds Pharmacy, Sainsbury's Meole Brace, Shrewsbury and Lloyds Pharmacy, Sainsbury's Frankley, Beeches Road, Northfield.

The spokesman said: "Both are in close proximity to our branches in Shrewsbury and Northfield.

"With this in mind we want to reassure patients that our pharmacy branches have adequate capacity to take on new patients whether that means providing their prescription medicines, over the counter medicines, give general health advice or provide additional health services."

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Lloyds says it has cut the services following a strategic review “in response to changing market conditions”.

It added that it is “exploring options” for each branch individual and will confirm exact closure plans on a “branch-by-branch” basis but expects to complete the process this year.

The pharmacy stressed that it is working with all staff impacted by the announcement but did not disclose how many workers would be affected.

Kevin Birch, chief executive officer of Lloyds Pharmacy, said: “This decision has not been an easy one and we understand that our patients and customers may have questions about how the change will affect them.

“I am very grateful to all our colleagues for their dedication to our patients, customers and communities.”

A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “Lloyds Pharmacy is withdrawing pharmacy services from our stores over the coming months.

“We will work with them to ensure customers are clear on how they can access an alternative pharmacy provision to meet their needs.”

The decision comes seven years after Lloyds Pharmacy first snapped up the pharmacies from the retailer for £125 million.

It comes amid growing pressure on the UK pharmacy sector, following calls for increased state funding support.

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