PSNC and NPA are back in court today (May 22) to have their appeals heard in the Judicial Review cases concerning the funding cuts. The two appeals will be heard together and the hearing is expected to take around two and a half days.
The basis of PSNC’s case was that the health secretary failed to carry out a lawful consultation on the proposals for community pharmacy. The NPA argued that the DH failed to properly consider the impact of the cuts in deprived areas.
In May, Mr Justice Collins gave his judgment, finding against the two bodies, but criticised the DH’s consultation process, stating it was unfair, but not so unfair as to be unlawful.
In June, the judge gave permission for his judgment to be appealed, 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.”
The barristers representing the various parties this week are Alison Foster QC (PSNC), David Locke QC (NPA) and James Eadie (DH). The outcome is not anticipated for several weeks.