Although the 2013 Regulations have been with us since April, there are still a number of cases being decided under the 2005 Regulations because the applications were consulted on before September 2012.

We recently represented a client who had received Preliminary Consent to open a 100 hour pharmacy and had successfully converted that to Full Consent and then received a further 3 months extension to the period that they had to open the pharmacy.

Unfortunately our client wasn't able to secure the premises where he had applied for Full Consent and had to seek a minor relocation prior to opening. The minor relocation was approved by NHS England, but then appealed by a local pharmacy operator, who argued, through his solicitors, that our client would run out of time for opening his pharmacy during the appeal period for the minor relocation. NHS England agreed with the objector and told our client that he should spend no more money fitting out his premises - even though he had already opened as a non-contract pharmacy!

We made representations to the NHS Litigation Authority on behalf of our client that the fresh appeal essentially 'reset the clock' and our client should have at least a further 6 months in which to open. The NHS Litigation Authority agreed with our submission and our client is now due to commence trading in the next couple of weeks.

This case just goes to show that NHS England doesn't always get it right. If our client had accepted what he was told then he would have had lost a very significant amount of money