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UPDATED: PSNC given go-ahead to appeal High Court cuts case

PSNC pharmacy funding cuts High Court decision
Sue Sharpe: "PSNC will do what it feels is right to protect pharmacies and patients"

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has been given permission to appeal the High Court decision on its case against the pharmacy funding cuts.

UPDATED 3.15pm: NPA also appealing decision

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has also lodged an appeal against the High Court decision, a leading lawyer has confirmed this afternoon.

Andrea James, partner at law firm Knights 1759, who represented the NPA during the case, said the association lodged its appeal on June 9, and "is further along in the appeal process than PSNC".


High Court judge Justice Collins dismissed both PSNC's and the NPA's cases against the funding cuts "with regret" last month.

However, Mr Justice Collins has granted PSNC permission to appeal the judgment, the negotiator announced this morning (June 23).

When handing down his judgment on May 18, Mr Justice Collins criticised the Department of Health consultation process, including its failure to disclose its use of a Companies House analysis that it said showed community pharmacies have an operating margin of “about” 15%.

Commenting on the appeal, Mr Collins said: "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% [figure] and the non-disclosure."

PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe said it would "ideally" not have to pursue the appeal, "but [we] will do what it feels is right to protect pharmacies and the patients they care for”.

The appeal is not likely to be heard for "several months", PSNC stressed.

Catch up on C+D's full coverage of the three-day High Court hearing, and the aftermath, here.

Do you think PSNC should appeal the High Court judgment?

Best Farma, Ecommerce

Something tells me only the lawyers are winning this one....

Z ZZzzzz, Information Technology

Well it comes as no surprise that Jeremy Hunt lies/covers up so the previous judgement should be completely set aside. We should not have to wait months for the reversal! Come on NPA and PSNC put pressure in Parliament and get on the front pages of every newspaper explaining the duplicitous nature of JH and how this affected the erroneous court decision. (Not holding my breath.)

Yuna Mason, Sales

The conservatives have just spent more than five times the amount cut from the pharmacy budget to buy themselves a small majority coalition government with the DUP. Bad link, updated.

Shamir Patel, Community pharmacist

It seems like the profession is divided again and we are being represented  by multiple professional bodies again.

Pharmacy Voice was suppose to bring together 3 bodies and now we can have multiple representations at High Court. PSNC and NPA need to team up and strengthen their response rather than bickering between themselves.


david williams, Community pharmacist

I agree. It is deplorable, that a government makes funding decisions without honesty. If they have no desire to properly fund the NHS, whilst I disagree with them, they have every right to do so. However, they should do this with honesty and inform the electorate accordingly. Lies and hidden truths have no place in public office, or anywhere where decent people operate for that matter. I for one, am more than interested in finding out more about the people involved in this disgraceful  episode and question why minutes were deleted. As stated my my colleague, we started this process, we owe it to each other to follow it through and reveal the truth.

Rajnikant Hindocha, Community pharmacist

This was an imposed payment structure to suit DH projected budget deficit. No evidence of "quality impact accessment" has been provided with refrence to the imposed Payment structure .PSNC should appeal .

Bob Dunkley, Locum pharmacist

In the scheme of the things, the government are determined to have the money from pharmacy, so no.

Chris Mckendrick, Community pharmacist

In the scheme of things the Government want a lot of things they may not be able to have now. We've started this legal process and we should pursue it as far as we can. If for no other reason than the chance of finding out more of the hidden truth from deleted minutes and redacted papers.

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