Boots to cut up to 350 jobs in bigger UK stores

Boots is to cut up to 350 jobs in the UK as the pharmacy chain looks to reduce costs in its larger stores, the Guardian reports.

This is the second round of job cuts at Boots in the last seven months, after an announcement in June last year that the company would cut 700 jobs in offices around the UK.

In the latest round of redundancies, the company plans to cut between 300 and 350 assistant store managers at its biggest stores.

Boots is now part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, one of the biggest retailers in the world, after the merger of Walgreens and Alliance Boots in 2014.

The company employs 60,000 people in the UK and Stefano Pessina, the chief executive of Walgreens Boots Alliance, has pledged that Boots will remain committed to the UK despite the mega-merger.

New Sainsbury’s in Colchester on B&Q site to bring welcome jobs

Sainsbury’s revealed plans in August 2013 to take over the existing B&Q store in Lightship Way, at the Hythe, to create a new superstore – with the aim of opening by 2017, the East Anglian Daily Times reports.

Now the retail giant’s application for the site has been recommended for approval by Colchester Borough Council officers, subject to successful negotiation of cycle way and CCTV improvements, ahead of a provisional decision based on agreement to the works by the authority’s planning committee on Thursday.

Paul Smith, leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “The first thing I always look at is are these new jobs and not just replacing existing jobs, and with supermarkets if it will result in the closure of community stores.

“That does not appear to be the case on this occasion, but it is down to the planning committee to ensure the proposals meet with the relevant policies.”

Warwick Hospital A&E under ‘significant’ pressure

Patients are putting ‘significant pressure’ on Warwick Hospital’s A&E department by attending with minor injuries or illnesses, the Leamington Observer reports.

Health bosses say one in four people who go to A&E could care for themselves or seek alternative treatment.

By using the emergency department they are putting increasing stress on the healthcare system.

Nearby University Hospital in Coventry and George Eliot in Nuneaton have also reported a rise in demand – despite people being able to call NHS 111 for advice or visiting their GP or pharmacy.

Hospital chiefs have warned those with minor injuries or ailments that they will face a longer wait as more serious cases are prioritised.

Boots at Hull Prospect Centre reopens after problem with locks

Boots staff were unable to open the Prospect Shopping Centre store in Hull this morning because of a problem with the locks, the Hull Daily Mail reports.

It meant customers were unable to visit the city centre store and pharmacy until a locksmith was able to gain access at about 10.20am.

A spokeswomen for Boots said: "This morning, we had a temporary issue with a lock on our store in the Prospect Shopping Centre, meaning that we had to delay opening until a locksmith could attend.

"During this time, our customers and patients were directed towards our other store in the town centre.”

Gilead risks becoming victim of its own success

Over the past two years, Gilead, a California-based drugmaker, has emerged as the undisputed leader of the four large US biotechnology companies, the Financial Times reports.

Its hepatitis C medicines, Harvoni and Sovaldi, set a new record for the most successful drug launch, thanks in part to a contentious price tag that works out at approximately $1,000 per pill.

But the company has also achieved something that is still quite rare in modern medicine: a bona fide cure for a deadly disease that was previously untreatable in roughly half of patients.

Now some investors and analysts are asking whether Gilead is about to become a victim of its own success.

The problem with a cure, especially one that works in as little as eight weeks, like Harvoni, is the drugmaker will one day run out of new patients to treat.

Medway Foundation trust 'gravy train' attacked, as deficit quadruples at failing hospital

A hospital branded the worst in the NHS has been accused of operating a “gravy train” after paying £1.5m for a temporary finance director who presided over a quadrupling in its deficit, The Telegraph reports.

Tim Bolot has just quit after 18 months at Medway Foundation trust, where he received one of the most generous NHS packages on record.

Ministers have repeatedly promised to clamp down on high rewards for “interim” managers, promising that their “exorbitant” rates will be reduced to those of permanent employees.

The Medway trust - which is rated inadequate and has been on “special measures” for almost three years – has now hired one of the best-paid “roving” executives to replace him.