Judicial Review cases to be heard this week

Judicial Review cases to be heard this week

March 20, 2017

The Judicial Reviews relating to the changes imposed on community pharmacy on October 20th 2016 will be heard in the High Court this week.

The hearing will start on Tuesday 21st March, with an estimated hearing time of three days. The two cases being brought by PSNC and the NPA will be heard together.

PSNC was granted permission for the Judicial Review from the High Court in December last year. The PSNC case is that the Secretary of State failed to carry out a lawful consultation on the proposals for community pharmacy.

Read more about PSNC’s application for leave for a Judicial Review.

Read PSNC’s skeleton arguments.

The NPA’s case is focused on arguments that the Secretary of State failed to properly discharge his Public Sector Equality Duties and failed to appreciate community pharmacy’s wider healthcare role. The NPA will release their own information about their case.

The barristers representing the various parties are:

Alison Foster QC (PSNC)
David Locke QC (NPA)
James Eadie (DH)

During the hearing the judge will explore the arguments from each party and consider the very substantial amount of information that has been disclosed through this process, particularly by the Department of Health.

The judge may reserve making a decision at the end of the hearing, and if this happens we may not know the outcome of the cases for several weeks. It is not helpful to speculate on what the outcome may be at this stage.

PSNC Chief Executive Sue Sharpe said:

“PSNC very much regrets that it became necessary to take this unprecedented step. We have always sought to work constructively and collaboratively with the NHS and Department of Health.  Over many years our negotiations were characterised by robust exchanges and a willingness on both sides to listen and consider each others’ views and analysis, and we were able to reach agreement.  

This changed last year and the Department would not engage with us constructively on the most important elements of the 17 December 2015 letter.  

PSNC’s focus this week will be on the hearing to ensure that our case is presented in the best way. We will issue a further statement after the proceedings.”

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