National Appeal Panel

In Northern Ireland, a community pharmaceutical contractor (known as a community pharmacist or chemist) can only dispense Health Service prescriptions if they are included on the pharmaceutical list maintained by the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB).

Applications to join the pharmaceutical list

The application system to join the pharmaceutical list is based on a system of control, linking the number of providers of pharmaceutical services as closely as possible to the needs of the local population.

Successful inclusion on the list is based on whether it is “necessary or desirable” to secure the adequate provision of pharmaceutical services in the neighbourhood.

This is known as the Control of Entry test.

Applications to join the list are made to the HSCB using the relevant form.

The legal requirements for entry to the pharmaceutical list are set out in the Pharmaceutical Services Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997

A Pharmacy Practice Committee, established by the HSC Board, decide on the application.

National Appeal Panel decisions

The decision of the Pharmacy Practice Committee can be appealed to the National Appeal Panel, established by the Department.

The Pharmaceutical Services Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997 set out the legal requirements concerning applications to provide pharmaceutical services and appeals against decisions on their provision. 

The attached guide reflects these requirements but was prepared prior to the Health and Social Care (Reform Act) (NI) 2009 which replaced the existing Boards with a single Regional Health and Social Care Board. References to 'Boards' should now be read as 'the Regional Board' and references to notifying other Boards are no longer applicable.

The procedures set out in Chapter 5 of the Guide (Determining an application other than minor relocation or change of ownership) are no longer applicable.

The Regional Board has appointed a Pharmacy Practices Committee under the Health and Social Care (Reform Act) (NI) 2009.

These Standing Orders contain the current detail on the remit, constitution and the conduct of business of the Regional Board’s Pharmacy Practices Committee.

(Standing Orders Appendix 10: Pharmacy Practices Committee: Paragraphs 2.1.1; 2.1.2; 2.1.3 apply).

Revised guidance will issue in due course.

Information on NAP decisions

The National Appeal Panel receives administrative and secretarial support from DHSSPS.

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