TWO branches of LloydsPharmacy have closed in Bournemouth as its parent company battles to balance its books.

Branches at Southbourne Grove and Wimborne Road, Kinson have been axed by Coventry-based parent company Celesio UK.

"We can confirm that we have now completed the process of closing our LloydsPharmacy store on Southbourne Grove in Bournemouth. We have also completed the closure of our store on Wimborne Road" said a spokesman.

"This action is a result of cuts to government funding which means it is no longer commercially viable to operate these pharmacies. Our priority is to ensure that our patients are supported throughout this process and that they continue to have access to the care they need. You can find other local pharmacies on the NHS choices website."

Nearly 200 LloydsPharmacy branches across the country are to be closed.

Celesio has said it plans to close 190 "commercially unviable" branches across England.

The plan was revealed bymanaging director Cormac Tobin who said the organisation has made the decision due to "changes to government policy on reimbursement and retrospective clawbacks over the past two years."

He said: "We must respond to the dramatic reimbursement cuts over the past 24 months. Although this is a difficult day for some of our colleagues, this also presents an opportunity for us to set ourselves up for the future and build our reputation as a trusted partner of the NHS."

A message was circulated to LloydsPharmacy employees, in which Mr Tobin said the decision had "not been taken lightly", but was "necessary" for the business "to adapt to the changing landscape."

The company has not revealed exactly how many staff will be affected or the timescales for closures across the country.