Q I was granted preliminary consent for a 100-hour pharmacy before details of the new (2012) regulations were known. What is the status of my application?
Transitional provisions mean that an application for a 100-hour pharmacy is treated as preserved where the period for making representations to the PCT, usually 45 days, has elapsed before September 1 (when the new regulations come into effect), and therefore will continue under the old (2005) regulations.
Since preliminary consent has been granted, a full application and the associated procedures based on that successful grant are also preserved and therefore continue under the 2005 regulations. Q I applied for a 100-hour pharmacy a few days before the details of the 2012 regulations were known and the PCT has yet to circulate my application. What is the impact of the 2012 regulations on it?
Subject to any allowed deferral of an application for more than 14 days by the PCT under the old regulations, as the PCT has not circulated the application for a period to seek representations, then that period will not complete prior to September 1. As a result, your application will be treated as void and not progress to determination. The PCT must refund any fee charged for the application. Q I applied for a 100-hour pharmacy more than 45 days before the new regulations come into force. The PCT did not notify other parties in time to make representations to finish before September 1, and my application has been declared void by the PCT. Can I appeal? The PCT is required to notify a valid application "as soon as is practicable". While a PCT should act promptly and in a timely manner, the 2005 regulations provide no definition as to what may be regarded as satisfying that requirement, and they provide no remedy or right of appeal to the NHS Litigation Authority in this scenario. Q What will happen when PCTs are abolished on March 31, 2013?
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 transfers the specific responsibility for developing and updating a pharmaceutical needs assessment (PNA) after PCTs are abolished to local authority health and wellbeing boards.
The remainder of the 2012 regulations, which deal with applications and performance matters, will, with effect from April 2013, become the responsibility of the national NHS Commissioning Board.
Paul Burns is a consultant at health and social care law firm Hempsons
C+D reader offer
Health and social care law firm Hempsons is offering 10 minutes free advice to pharmacists in need of legal advice or clarification. Call 020 7839 0278 and ask for the Pharmacy Advice Line