In R (Flasz & Others) v Havering PCT and another and R (Jan-Mohammed) v Greenwich PCT & another Nichol J. has held that two Primary Care Trusts (“PCTS”), Havering and Greenwich, acted lawfully in unilaterally varying the Personal Medical Service Agreements (‘PMS Agreements’) of a number of GPs. The variations included provision which would permit the contracts to be terminated on 6 months notice.
The PCTs acted in response to regulations which were made by the Secretary of State for Health on 1 April 2010.
The Claimants sought to challenge the vires of the Secretary of State to make those Regulations, the Primary Medical Services (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2010 SI 2010 No 578 (‘the 2010 Regulations’). The Claimants also argued, that, as a result of things said by the Secretary of State before they entered into the PMS Agreements in 2004, they were led to believe that the agreements would be permanent. The 2010 Regulations and the consequent alterations to their contracts frustrated their legitimate expectations and, as a result, the Regulations and the changes to the contracts were unlawful. Dr Flasz and the other claimants in the Havering case also alleged that similar representations were made by their PCT and this is a further reason why their contracts could not be lawfully altered so as to permit the contracts to be terminated simply on the PCT giving 6 months notice.
Following a rolled up hearing the learned Judge refused permission on all the grounds.
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James Maurici appeared for Havering PCT, instructed by Beachcroft LLP.