Our Recent Market Entry Cases
Our recent market entry cases include:
- Successful application for a distance selling pharmacy in West Yorkshire
- Successfully opposing a no significant change relocation application in Cornwall
- Successful unforeseen benefits application in Bidford, Warwickshire, against competing application by Rushport Advisory
- Successfully opposing an unforeseen benefits application in Ashby-de-la- Zouch because there was already a reasonable choice of pharmacies and granting the application would not confer significant benefits on people in the HWB area.
The High Court has now considered for the first time the regulations governing relocations.
Mr Justice Langstaff upheld the Family Health Service Appeal Unit’s decision to dismiss an appeal by Community Pharmacy (UK) Limited. The company had applied to relocate from a city centre shopping centre in Derby to a large surgery.
The main test is whether the new premises would be significantly less accessible for patient groups than the current premises are. For details of the ruling click here, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Amongst other things, the judge held that:
- Deciding what a “patient group” is involves looking at what might make a relocated pharmacy difficult to get to physically, mentally and socially.
- Patient groups might be identified in relation to factors such as local GP practices, methods of travel, types of services accessed, geographic location of the group, demography and deprivation.
- Accessibility is not necessarily limited to a matter of geography. Bad weather might make the relocated pharmacy less easy to go to, as might whether some women were reluctant to have to walk past a shelter for those with drug and alcohol problems.
- Women seeking emergency hormonal contraception could be a patient group, even though the existing pharmacy did not provide EHC on the NHS, because the pharmacist there could give advice and signpost anyone wanting EHC.
- If any one group finds the new location significantly less accessible, the application must be refused.
Getting NHS pharmacy contracts or preventing someone from getting a contract on your doorstep has become very complicated, as recent High Court cases have demonstrated. We hope our new guide will help. For further details click here or email email@example.com a free copy.
The conviction of a Boots locum for manslaughter should send shivers down the spine of all healthcare professionals. Honey Rose is an optometrist who failed to spot during a routine eye-test that an 8-year old boy had a condition that led to his death. She was given a 2-year suspended prison sentence.
Lost in Cyber Space
Recent events highlight the importance of taking care when communications are sent to NHS England and the Family Health Services Appeal Unit. In one case, the owner of a pharmacy was accused of breaching his terms of service by failing to notify NHS England that the GPhC had imposed a sanction on him. The pharmacist appealed, and insisted he had written to NHS England and enclosed notification. NHS England denied having received the notification. His appeal was dismissed because he had not provided any evidence to demonstrate the notification had been sent. The appeal decision by the Head of the FHSAU says: “I would have expected to see either a copy email or some proof of postage”.
The decision would seem harsh in the context of NHS contract applications, where NHS England and Capita (to whom administration is now outsourced) have a track record of being unable to confirm receipt of communications and its software seems programmed to delete unread emails. Even the FHS Appeal Unit is not immune from technical problems. It has recently reported that it has had problems receiving emails with attachments.
Since NHS England started outsourcing market entry administration, Capita has become something of a black hole into which pharmacy applications seem to disappear despite the legal requirement for changes of ownership to be dealt with in 30 days, and other applications within 4 months. The PSNC recently asked NHS England to take action because of unacceptable service levels.
Fitness to Practise
We are actively participating in a new GPhC User Group dealing with Fitness to Practise issues. For our guide to Investigations and GPhC Fitness to Practise proceedings, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The GPhC’s Fitness to Practise Committee has recently suspended one pharmacist and given a warning to another because they failed to exercise control over the supply of Codeine Linctus sold through their website. The Committee was at pains to point out that online pharmacies must provide the same level of care as they would provide to a patient in the pharmacy at the counter.