Boots to cut back health services

street pharmacy chain Boots is scrapping its laser eye correction, dentistry,
chiropody and laser hair removal businesses, leaving 850 staff facing an
uncertain future

company said it would "re-deploy as many people as possible", but
added it would have a clearer idea about how many jobs would be lost in
October, when interim results were released.

the last financial year, the dentistry, chiropody and laser hair removal
businesses made losses of £16.3m, with a deficit of £3.8m for laser eye correction
work. Scrapping the businesses will cost Boots £55m but the company said the
decision would improve future profits.

are 54 Boots dental practices, and the majority will be closed by the end of
2004. Similarly, it is expected to close the nine laser eye surgeries by the
end of the year, with those already undergoing treatment having it continued.

date has been fixed for the closure of the 52 chiropody and 14 laser hair
businesses, but "alternative arrangements" will be made for patients.

By Daniel Thomas






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