COVID-19 VACCINATIONS: If, in addition to indemnity for your main employment, you would like cover for delivering COVID-19 Vaccinations please apply for our standalone extension Apply Today

Home  »   PDA UnionLatest NewsBoots   »   PDA to support members impacted by decision to close 300 more Boots pharmacies

PDA to support members impacted by decision to close 300 more Boots pharmacies

15 months after its New Pharmacy Operating Model (NPOM) reduced opening hours, Walgreens has announced plans to close or dispose of c.300 of their subsidiary Boots’ branches in the UK.

Tue 4th July 2023 The PDA

Boots pharmacists have been told that the company intend to remove around 300 of its pharmacies over the next year, closing most but possibly selling a small number. The PDA believes this is approximately one out of every eight current Boots pharmacy locations.

As the recognised trade union, PDA officials were given confidential notice prior to the formal announcement. The PDA Union will provide pharmacists with information, support, and representation as part of the recognition agreement so that members are aware of and can exercise their rights at work. PDA officials will be in continued dialogue with the company throughout this closure programme.

Support for PDA members

The PDA will be doing all it can for members impacted by this decision and knows from experience that there are likely to be wider consequences for other employees beyond those who could be at risk of redundancy.

The company have insisted that the objective of this exercise is not to make existing pharmacist employees redundant, and they hope to be able to redeploy individuals into nearby alternative locations. However, it is unlikely that suitable alternative roles will be available for all and the PDA believes redundancy is a possibility for some.

The PDA will provide advice to members at risk of redundancy and help them understand the options available to them. If their employment ends the PDA expects them to receive adequate redundancy compensation and fair treatment as they try and seek alternative employment during any notice period.

The PDA’s redundancy factsheet can be found here.

There are also consequences for those who are not at risk of redundancy which can also be significant. For example, consolidating the workload of a closing pharmacy into alternative Boots locations may require additional resources, staffing, and physical space in the pharmacy expected to absorb that extra volume.

If the Boots estate is reducing significantly, the need for relief pharmacists and other area roles may also reduce.

PDA Union General Secretary, Mark Pitt said, “The PDA team will be working tirelessly to avoid job losses for pharmacists and protecting their interests. It’s important in these situations that any uncertainty is kept to a minimum and everyone is treated with respect and dignity.

We believe it is as important to inform both those who work in a pharmacy that may be closing, those whose pharmacy may receive an increase to their existing workload, and any others impacted as soon as local proposals are being considered. Company briefings should provide clear information about local decisions and formal processes to be followed, such as how redundancy consultations will work and how possible alternative roles might be identified. 

PDA members can contact our Member Support Centre for advice in due course and in the meantime should ensure they read communications from the PDA.”

Although other aspects of the PDA recognition at Boots, such as pay negotiations, can benefit all pharmacists in the bargaining unit (all store/relief-based pharmacists and trainee pharmacists) the more tailored support often needed for individuals facing the risk of redundancy is for PDA members only. Any pharmacist that is not yet a member of the PDA are encouraged to join today.

Mark Pitt continued, “This is a major closure programme of community pharmacies with more pharmacies expected to close than the 200+ LloydsPharmacy closures at Sainsbury’s announced earlier in the year.

Unlike pharmacy sales to a new owner, with closures, patients and communities will see a reduction in availability, and the UK pharmacy network will lose vital capacity at a time of great need.

Access to a pharmacist for patients is critical not just to provide current NHS services, but to deliver what the public need in terms of Pharmacy First and other future NHS initiatives.”

Learn more


Not yet a PDA member?

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists and for the first three months of being newly qualified.


Read about our key member benefits here.






The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

Cookie Use

This website uses cookies to help us provide the best user experience. If you continue browsing you are giving your consent to our use of cookies.

General Guidance Resources Surveys PDA Campaigns Regulations Locums Indemnity Arrangements Pre-Regs & Students FAQs Coronavirus (COVID-19)