We recently represented a client who had their application under Regulation 18 for unforeseen benefits refused by NHS England. At the same time a local dispensing doctor practice also challenged a ruling that the area of the application should not be considered a "reserved location" and that a new pharmacy would not prejudice the proper provision of medical services by the local GP practice, which is also a dispensing practice.

We made representation on behalf of our client and, at appeal, the NHS Litigation Authority accepted that the application should be granted under Regulation 18. The Litigation Authority concluded that the premises were not in a reserved location (for the purposes of Regulation 41) and that no prejudice to relevant NHS services would be caused by the granting of the application (for the purposes of Regulation 44).

Following this decision NHS England is now required to consider the process of "gradualisation". One this has been determined, the local GP practice will be required to stop providing dispensing services to any patient who lives within 1 mile of the proposed new pharmacy location.