1 May 2009
Sam Semoff, represented by Richard Stein and Rosa Curling of Leigh Day & Co Solicitors, has successfully challenged the failure by Liverpool Primary Care Trust and Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust to consult the public about proposals to redevelop the Royal Liverpool Hospital making use of the controversial Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme.
The Trusts published a consultation document setting out their proposal for Royal Liverpool in summer 2008 setting out two options upon which they requested the public’s views. The options were (1) to rebuild the hospital or (2) refurbish it. This document included a figure of the total costs for each option but did not provide any detailed information about how the costs had been calculated. Nor did it mention the fact the rebuild was likely to be paid for by way of a PFI scheme.
The Trusts argued they did not need to provide the public with information about the “financial arrangements” by which the Hospital could be rebuilt or refurbished or how they had calculated the estimated costs.
Leigh Day advised Mr Semoff that this was incorrect and the refusal by the Trusts to provide the public with this financial information rendered the consultation process unlawful.
A letter before action was sent in late 2008 and a permission hearing heard in March 2009 confirmed that the challenge was arguable. Following several weeks of negotiation, the Trusts have now confirmed they will undertake further consultation about the future development of the Royal Liverpool Hospital, providing the public with proper information about the cost of the two options and a summary of the outline business case and PFI arrangements.
Mr Semoff is delighted. He said: “We are really pleased [the Trusts] are going to have to answer specific key questions that we have set out… we know PFI schemes have dragged the NHS into debt around Britain, causing massive cuts in services. We can’t let this happen to the Royal.”
For more information please contact Rosa Curling
on 020 7650 1200.
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