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High Court legal challenge over CCG consultation

Landmark case as CCG is challenged in the High Court over its public consultation policy

Posted on 02 May 2014

Leigh Day is representing the campaign group Protect our NHS in its judicial review application challenging Bristol's Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), failure to involve patients in its decisions about health care services.

CCG oversees a health budget worth £500m.

In the first legal challenge of its kind 'Protect our NHS' claims the CCG is failing in its legal duty to involve and consult patients in its decisions about local health care provision and the allocation of its budget.

Lawyers from Leigh Day argue that CCGs have a clear legal duty to have in place arrangements to involve and consult patients about their local NHS services and potential changes in its provision.

The application for judicial review states that Bristol CCG's policy for the procurement of health services is unlawful as it does not require the CCG to involve the public in their decision making process.

Rosa Curling from the Human Rights team at Leigh Day, who is representing Protect our NHS, said:

"There is a clear legal duty on NHS bodies, such as CCGs, to involve the public in their decision making. The patients’ voice must be heard and considered when CCGs decide what services to provide in their area and who should provide them.

"The multiple reports and recommendations that followed the Mid Staffordshire tragedy highlight again and again how important it is that NHS bodies listen to patients.

"We hope the CCG will see the error in their approach so this legal claim can be resolved without further delay."

This is the first time an application for judicial review over formal arrangements in the way NHS services are commissioned by CCGs has happened.