The High Court has granted PSNC permission for a judicial review of the Government’s decision to implement the community pharmacy funding cuts.

The hearing is to be expedited and will be heard in the week beginning 6 February 2017, PSNC said yesterday (December 21).

The judge has indicated that if the Government seeks a later hearing date in order to better prepare their case, the court will have to consider whether to delay the implementation of the cuts during this time, PSNC said,

PSNC accepts the need to “achieve efficiencies” within the sector and is “not challenging this principle”, it said when it announced it was demanding a judicial review earlier this month (December 1). But it does not believe that the process complied with the requirements of a lawful consultation, it stressed.

The committee believes that the Department of Health (DH) used "poor data" to make its evaluation, which it did not disclose as a basis for its decision, it said at the time. It also criticsed the DH’s lack of analysis of the potential impact of pharmacy closures.

PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe said yesterday: “PSNC still very much regrets that the process the NHS has followed in the past year has made it impossible to avoid taking legal action; however we are pleased that our application for leave has been granted and will be heard early in 2017.”

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