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Day two of the pharmacy funding cuts High Court appeal: what happened?

The NPA's argument was scheduled to take up this morning's session
The NPA's argument was scheduled to take up this morning's session

C+D's blow-by-blow account of the second and final day of pharmacy's appeal against the funding cuts

Below is C+D's live coverage from the second day (May 23) of the pharmacy funding cuts appeal case in the High Court in London. Read here for information on all the key players, and read a summary of how the sector got to this point here.

Follow @CandDThomas for real-time updates on Twitter, or catch up on all the coverage from yesterday's events here.

For reference, 'SI' is Lord Justice Stephen Irwin, 'GH' is Lord Justice Gary Hickinbottom, 'JB' refers to Sir Jack Beatson. PSNC's lawyer is 'AF', Alison Foster QC, the NPA's lawyer is 'DL', David Lock QC and the DH's lawyer is 'JE', James Eadie QC.

 

C+D's Thomas Cox rounds up the second day at the High Court

 

How did we get here? The journey back to the courts

December 1, 2016: PSNC launches a legal challenge to the pharmacy cuts, the day the 12% drop in the sector’s funding in England comes into force.

The negotiator believes the DH “failed to carry out a lawful consultation” on its proposals for the sector.

The NPA is named as an “interested party” in PSNC’s case.

December 13, 2016: The NPA confirms its own “formal launch of High Court proceedings”, on the grounds that the DH failed to consider the impact the funding cut will have on the elderly, the disabled and those from black and ethnic minority communities.

The DH says it does not accept the grounds for a judicial review and aims to persuade the court that the NPA’s case is “without merit”.

March 21-23, 2017: PSNC and NPA outline their cases to Judge Justice Collins at the Royal Courts of Justice.

May 18, 2017: Judge Justice Collins dismisses "with regret" both the NPA's and PSNC's cases.

June 23, 2017: PSNC and NPA given permission to appeal the High Court decision.

May 21, 2018: The day before the appeal hearing is due to begin, NPA vice chair Andrew Lane says: “The High Court judgment vindicated our stance on health inequalities and we now want to see that flow through to a logical and fair conclusion.

“Had the DH properly considered the impact of its cuts, it would have realised that the cuts will ultimately have a disproportionate effect on people living in the most deprived areas of England, where there is already a lack of NHS provision.”

There is “no fixed date” for the verdict, the NPA says, and PSNC stresses “it is not helpful to speculate on what the outcome may be at this stage”.

 

How is your pharmacy coping with the funding cuts?

As PSNC and the NPA appeal the High Court judge’s decision last year to uphold the pharmacy funding cuts, tell us how your pharmacy is coping.

Leave your comments under the story, or contact C+D anonymously by emailing [email protected]

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