NHS hits back at Weston Favell pharmacy bosses for claiming rent rise is forcing them out

The NHS has hit back at claims by Lloyds Pharmacy after the multi-national parent company ion charge of it claimed it was closing the branch because the health service wanted to raise the rent.
The NHS has hit back at claims by Lloyds Pharmacy after the multi-national parent company ion charge of it claimed it was closing the branch because the health service wanted to raise the rent.

The NHS has hit back at claims the multi-national company running a Weston Favell pharmacy was priced out of its current building because of a proposed rent rise.

Last week, the CEO in charge of Lloyds Pharmacy said the planned closure of the outlet in Weston Favell Health Centre was because the NHS wanted to double its rent costs.

Toby Anderson went on to say he thought the move was "at odds with the NHS' ambitions" and criticised the health service's property team for not working with them to agree on affordable rent.

But NHS Property Services (NHSPS) has hit back, claiming that it simply wanted to bring the rent in line with the current market rate.

A spokeswoman said: "NHS Property Services (NHSPS) have consistently engaged with Lloyds Pharmacy to renew the lease at a market rent. The proposed increase is due to the fact that the passing rent is not at current market levels for pharmacies.

"It is important to note that the NHSPS does not make a profit and any surpluses are reinvested into the NHS. Rent provides the investment needed for the ongoing renewal of the estate meaning patients benefit from enhanced healthcare facilities."

The spokeswoman also added that the NHS was hopeful of reaching a 'workable solution' with Lloyds - which warned of potential closures to outlets in May.

She also said that Lloyds had turned down proposed alternative terms.

The Chronicle and Echo has requested to see what fees the pharmaceutical company were being charged.

The closure means potentially thousands of patients who are registered at the GPs and surgeries of Weston Favell Health Centre potentially having to travel further for their subscriptions - though a Boots and Tesco pharmacy are located in the nearby Weston Favell Shopping Centre.

Lloyds says it will be contacting customers to advise them how to transfer their prescriptions to other pharmacies.