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Lloyds Pharmacy jobs at risk in Kent as Celesio UK mulls closure of 190 branches

By David Gazet

Kent chemists face an uncertain future after Lloyds Pharmacy revealed it would cease trading at almost 200 stores across England.

Celesio UK, which owns the brand, blamed the closure of 190 of its least successful stores on NHS funding and reimbursement cuts to chemists over the past two years.

There are currently around 50 Lloyds Pharmacy outlets across Kent and Medway, a small percentage of the estimated 1,500 stores across the country.

Lloyds Pharmacy, High Street, Cranbrook
Lloyds Pharmacy, High Street, Cranbrook

They employ roughly 17,000 staff and offer everything from over the counter medicine to help with mobility and pain management.

The changes came to light when a copy of a letter to staff from managing director Cormac Tobin was leaked to the media.

It is not yet known which pharmacies will be affected.

The company confirmed the changes on Friday.

In a statement, Mr Tobin said: “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.

"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 our affected employees."

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