PSNC Judicial Review Appeal to be heard this week

PSNC Judicial Review Appeal to be heard this week

May 21, 2018

PSNC’s Appeal in the Judicial Review case related to funding and other changes imposed on community pharmacy in 2016 will be heard in the Court of Appeal this week.

The hearing will start on Tuesday 22nd May, with an estimated hearing time of two and a half days. The two Appeals being brought by PSNC and the NPA will be heard together.

On 20th October 2016, the Secretary of State imposed funding cuts and other changes on community pharmacy. PSNC and the NPA both sought Judicial Review of the decision.

The basis of PSNC’s case was that the Secretary of State failed to carry out a lawful consultation on the proposals for community pharmacy.

On 18th May 2017, Mr Justice Collins gave his judgment, finding against PSNC, but criticising the Department of Health’s (DH’s) consultation process, stating that it was unfair, but not so unfair as to be unlawful. DH had failed to disclose its use of a Companies House analysis that it said showed community pharmacies have an operating margin of 15%.

In June 2017 Mr Justice Collins gave permission for PSNC to appeal his judgment, stating:

‘While naturally I am not persuaded that I failed in any of the respects alleged … I recognise the real effect of the cuts on pharmacies and the apparent reliance on the 15% and the non-disclosure.’

Read about the judgment handed down in PSNC’s Judicial Review case.

The barristers representing the various parties this week are:

Alison Foster QC (PSNC)

David Locke QC (NPA)

James Eadie QC (DHSC)

We expect that three judges will hear the Appeal cases, hearing arguments from each party.

We do not expect the judges to make an immediate decision at the end of the hearing, which means that we may not know the outcome of the appeal cases for several weeks. It is not helpful to speculate on what the outcome may be at this stage.

PSNC Director of Operations and Support, Gordon Hockey, said:

“PSNC has always regretted very much that it became necessary to take the unprecedented step of seeking a Judicial Review. We have always sought to work constructively and collaboratively with the NHS and Department of Health and hope to begin substantive discussions with them on the future of community pharmacy very soon.”

FAQs on PSNC’s Judicial Review Appeal

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