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Statement: Nascot Lawn funding – outcome of judicial review

21 February 2018

Nascot Lawn funding – outcome of judicial review

 

Today the High Court in London announced its conclusion following a judicial review brought by three parents who opposed the decision by Herts Valleys CCG no longer to fund the respite service at Nascot Lawn.

The case was presented on six grounds and the judge’s ruling has agreed with the families on one of those grounds and rejected the remaining five. The ground that the judge has upheld relates to the CCG’s requirement in law to formally consult with Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), because the service funded by the CCG was deemed by the judge to be a health service.

The High Court’s ruling directs us to the legal requirement that any substantial changes to health services need to be consulted on with HCC in a way that is prescribed and in accordance with a specific legal regulation.  

As a result we are now required to consult with Hertfordshire County Council, in a particular and specified format, before making a new decision. We expect to start the formal consultation very soon and the CCG will make the decision in the early part of May.

Dr Nicolas Small, local GP and Chair of Herts Valleys CCG said:

“This decision that we made back in November, to stop funding services at Nascot Lawn, was one of the hardest we have had to make as a board. And we did this in the context of a very challenging financial environment, having to assess priorities in order to meet the financial requirements placed on us by law. That financial challenge continues.

“What we now need to do, in acknowledgment of the judge’s ruling, is to take time over the next six weeks to formally consult with our colleagues at the council in the format that the court has prescribed. We have started that process. Our consultation will remain thorough and genuine and results will be considered at a Herts Valleys CCG meeting in May.

“We do also need to acknowledge the five grounds on which the judge ruled in our favour. He made a particular point of noting that Herts Valleys CCG had carried out proper and appropriate public involvement. He stated that we had comprehensively assessed the needs of those children using the service, contrary to what had been claimed.  The judge also stated that criticisms and allegations that we had contravened key pieces of legislation.  were not correct and he was keen to ensure his view was set out in full on those points. So, for example, he has ruled that we fully met our obligations under equalities law and the legislation on human rights and the rights of children.

“Whatever the outcome of this consultation and new decision, we continue to be concerned for the children and families who use Nascot Lawn respite services. Having made the decision last November, we had hoped this judicial review would bring the matter to a conclusion. We are committed to ensuring we comply with the judge’s ruling in full and we are keen to resolve this as soon as possible, so that a greater level of certainty can be provided particularly to the children and their families. In any event this judicial decision means that the service will be funded on the current basis until at least August 2018.”

For further information click Nascot Lawn - outcome of judicial review