Court of Appeal blocks DH limit on GP pensions
Friday, 14 March 2008
The BMA has won a High Court Judicial Appeal against the government’s move in 2006 to cap GP pensions.
In a Judicial Review, High Court Judge Mr Justice Mitting has decided that the government behaved unlawfully when the then Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt, retrospectively introduced a limit on the amount retiring GPs could receive in their NHS pensions.
Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of the BMA Council, said: “We are delighted that the BMA has been vindicated in its decision to challenge the government on the retrospective capping of GPs’ pensions.
“We now look to the government to give GPs the pensions they have worked and paid for and to honour the agreement reached with the BMA during contract negotiations.”
Dr Meldrum said the ruling would primarily affect GPs who retired between 2004 and 2007, with the difference made to some retirees amounting to thousands of pounds a year.
“In some ways we’re happy but in other ways it doesn’t please me to see that the government has acted in this way,” he added.
The hearing took place over just two days (12-13 March) at the High Court in London.
Law firm Irwin Mitchell represented the BMA with Richard Gordon QC and Maya Lester of Brick Court Chambers as Counsel.
The government now has leave to appeal against the Court’s decision.
Setting a collision course with the DH, the BMA today criticised moves to overhaul Patient and Public Involvement in the NHS and Ara Darzi's polyclinics plan.