Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Community pharmacy

PSNC applies for judicial review of consultation on community pharmacy cuts

Sue Sharpe, chief executive of the PSNC

Source: PSNC

Sue Sharpe, chief executive of the PSNC, says the body tried to avoid taking legal action but the process the NHS has followed has made this impossible

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has applied to the High Court for a judicial review of the decision to implement cuts to community pharmacy funding in England on the grounds that it believes the secretary of state failed to carry out a lawful consultation on the proposals.

The body, which represents pharmacy contractors, accepts the need for the NHS to achieve efficiencies within the community pharmacy sector, but does not believe that the consultation process on the cuts, which came into effect on 1 December 2016, complied with the requirements of a lawful consultation.

In particular, the PSNC says that the Department of Health (DH) based its decision on poor data, which it did not disclose, rather than updating existing high quality data.

“The PSNC has spent the past 12 months trying to work constructively with the DH and NHS England to enable community pharmacy to help the NHS to meet the increasing challenges that it faces,” says Sue Sharpe, chief executive of the PSNC. “We have sought to avoid taking legal action and very much regret that the process the NHS has followed has made this impossible.”

The application for judicial review says that the DH failed to disclose that it had carried out an analysis of pharmacies’ profitability using Companies House data as part of its impact assessment and did not provide this analysis to the PSNC promptly after the publication of the impact assessment.

The PSNC questions the validity of this analysis as the basis of the assessment of pharmacies’ economic viability and how they might be affected by the changes because of its sample size and the use of accounting returns rather than economic returns. The DH also failed to quantify the number of pharmacy closures likely to be seen as a result of the funding changes.

Since receiving the first letter from the DH on 17 December 2015 advising of the forthcoming cuts, the PSNC has been taking legal advice.

In November 2016, Sharpe hinted that legal action was likely when she told the annual conference of local pharmaceutical committees (LPCs) in London on 2 November 2016 that the PSNC had taken legal advice and “will be doing whatever we can and whatever is wise to challenge this policy”.

In recent weeks, the PSNC has been working closely with other pharmacy organisations to consider legal options, and the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), which represents independent pharmacies, is named as an interested party in the PSNC’s application for judicial review. An expedited hearing has been requested, so that if permission to seek judicial review is granted by the High Court, the hearing will take place as soon as practicable.

Stephen Fishwick, head of communications at the NPA, says the association is “in active discussions with our lawyers concerning our own legal action”.

“As we have throughout the campaign to date, we are working closely with colleagues across the sector to present a united front on this important issue,” he adds.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20202039

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Financial Analysis in Pharmacy Practice

    Financial Analysis in Pharmacy Practice

    An introduction to the basics of accounting and financial management. Applies these principles to pharmacy practice.

    £37.00Buy now
  • MCQs in Pharmacy Practice

    MCQs in Pharmacy Practice

    A study aid with 800 MCQs. Assess your knowledge, analytical skills, and ability to apply this knowledge base in clinical practice.

    £24.00Buy now
  • Community Pharmacy Handbook

    Community Pharmacy Handbook

    Community Pharmacy Handbook is a survival guide for community pharmacists and students, answering your practical questions. Includes case studies.

    £32.00Buy now
  • Basic Pharmacokinetics

    Basic Pharmacokinetics

    A clear and concise basic pharmacokinetics textbook. Shows how to apply the principles to achieve successful drug therapy.

    £52.00Buy now
  • Dale and Appelbe's Pharmacy and Medicines Law

    Dale and Appelbe's Pharmacy and Medicines Law

    This new edition of Dale and Appelbe's Pharmacy and Medicines Law is the definitive guide to law and ethics for pharmacy practice in the UK. It covers law and professional regulation and is firmly established as the definitive student textbook and reference work on this subject in the UK. Fully updated to include changes to pharmacy laws and regulation.

    £55.00Buy now
  • Remington Education: Physical Pharmacy

    Remington Education: Physical Pharmacy

    Remington Education: Physical Pharmacy provides a simple, concise view of the concepts and applications of physical pharmacy.

    £37.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Sue Sharpe, chief executive of the PSNC

Jobs you might like

See more jobs

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.