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Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign legal challenge


Video by Stuart Monro of the day of the Appeal victory

The Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign would like to thank the community, the Council, hospital clinicians and staff, the Mayor and MPs, Millwall FC and fans, Lewisham Pensioners Forum, the buggy army, the Council refuse department and 38 degrees.
A community united WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED!
The government are not taking the case to the Supreme Court.

We won our Judicial Review in July 2013, where the Government’s decision to close Lewisham Hospital was ruled to be unlawful. We were confident that the Government would lose their appeal on this decision because they were using emergency legislation in an undemocratic way to close Lewisham Hospital – a GOOD hospital – without any consultation, and without any evidence to justify it. Today this appeal has been denied – we have won our campaign to save Lewisham Hospital. It’s outrageous and undemocratic that the Government are now planning to change the law to allow them to do exactly the same thing they have been found guilty of in other  NHS Trusts across the UK. If they pass that legislation in the House of Commons, the whole of the NHS will be at risk. The Save Lewisham Hospital campaign is now committed to helping other campaigns to fight this taking place across our NHS.

See Press coverage here

GOVERNMENT vs. LEWISHAM COUNCIL & SAVE LEWISHAM HOSPITAL CAMPAIGN COURT NOTES By Tony O’Sullivan (Day 1, Monday 28th October) As most of us know, Lewisham Council and Our Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign took Jeremy Hunt, Sec of State for Health and Matthew Kershaw, TSA to Judicial Review (JR) in defence of Lewisham Hospital and we won on 31 July. Jeremy Hunt has not been man enough to recognise that the reason we won our JR victory was because he truly had acted unlawfully – ‘ultra vires’ (beyond his powers) – and had ignored the key views of the local GP Commissioners, Lewisham CCG and the community. So three weeks later at the eleventh hour he appealed August 21 and we were back at the High Court on 28th October. Feeling very confident having seen that the Government arguments for the appeal were saying nothing new, we were not surprised, that Hunt’s team has tabled an amendment to the new Care Bill (in itself nothing to do with NHS reconfiguration whatsoever) to give himself the two crucial powers he lost the JR on. The amendment went through the House of Lords on 22 October. They are intending to accelerate its passage in the Commons. It allows a TSA in future to go into a trust in crisis and make decisions about any other trust the TSA sees fit. And the TSA can now IGNORE local CCG opinion about the service changes proposed if the TSA can claim that the relevant CCG is ‘outvoted’ by neighbouring CCGs. So how about that for a short lesson in democracy? Day 1 in court essentially was such a re-run of July 2-4 that we could cut and paste court notes from then. However, this is the Court of Appeal, with Master of the Rolls, Lord Justice Dyson leading a bench of three Lord Justices, alongside LJ Sullivan and LJ Underhill. Trepidation began to dissipate as the Government line hit trouble from the start. It seems to me that the Appeal judges were incredulous at the Government argument relying on a meaning of the legislative phrase ‘in relation to the trust’ (ie South London Healthcare Trust) to ’empower’ the TSA to make changes in any other trust ie including Lewisham. The Govt team was asked, if that were so would it not imply changes could be made anywhere in the country. The barrister replied: ‘We dont shrink from that.’ The Govt barrister decided to ‘make the Court aware’ of the Government amendment passed through the Lords on 21 October. LJ Dyson replied: ‘It is of NO relevance’ to this court. Arguing against Lewisham CCG being the ‘local GP commissioners’ relevant to the decision on Lewisham, the Govt barrister was responded to by LJ Sullivan: ‘When it says GP Commissioners it means LOCAL commissioners’ and he said it would be ‘barmey’ if it meant otherwise. The judges seemed clear that Lewisham CCG are the local commissioners and the commissioners for the majority population affected. For our joint defence, QC Elizabeth Laing, Lewisham Council’s barrister was excellent. She made clear the partnership between our two teams, Council and Campaign. She went through our main defence of the vires and local CCG point, first of ‘The Four Tests’, in clinical fashion! Back to court today to complete Laing’s submission followed by the Campaign’s barrister David Lock, briefed by Leigh Day Solicitors. I will report on events today in due course.

Government puts amendment to Care and Social Care Bill The amendment would give Trust Special Administrators (TSAs) much greater powers when running NHS Trusts, and crucially would allow their decisions to change services arbitrarily in neighbouring Trusts. To read a press statement from Save Lewisham Hospital lawyers, Leigh Day. Click here

Letter from Lord Howe re Amendment Click here

Open Democracy comment from Jos Bell Click here

Government lodge appeal against Lewisham judgement 22 August 2013

The Government yesterday (21 August 2013) confirmed that they will appeal the judgment in the High Court, handed down on 31 July 2013, that found that the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, had acted unlawfully in deciding to substantially cut services and close departments at Lewisham Hospital. On the last day it could lodge its appeal, the Government lodged a formal application to take July’s judgment by Mr Justice Silber to the Court of Appeal. Download press statement Lewisham_Hospital_31.7.13 cut off Judgement from Judge Silber 31 July 2013 There are few issues which prompt such vociferous protest as attempts to reduce the services at a hospital which is highly regarded and which is much used by those who live in its neighbourhood. One such hospital is University Hospital Lewisham…’ (Judge Silber)

Download judgement in full

URGENT RELEASE: Letter from Matthew Kershaw to Secretary of State 2012.04

Click here to download

Judicial Review Hearing 2-4 July, Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand


Brief synopsis of the 3 day hearing Day 1 The first day in the High Court for Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and Lewisham Council’s judicial review challenge to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State, was very positive. Very good public presence outside: over 150 people. Judge Justice Silber agreed to a bigger courtroom to seat the gallery of campaigners 70-80 – the judge seemed to appreciate the reason for the disruption, as he ordered more chairs, delaying the start until all campaigners were seated. Very positive publicity was achieved in London newspapers and TV and radio and some national and international coverage also. overall a very good impact. Legal arguments on ultra vires (challenging Hunt on abuse of his powers in shutting down acute and full maternity services) from the Lewisham Council’s counsel dominated Day 1. Our barrister, David Lock QC, added to that strategy, but our main argument is Day 2 on the challenge around failure to meet the ‘Four Tests

Day 2 Yesterday was Day 2 in the High Court, Royal Courts of Justice for the judicial review hearing of the challenges by Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and Lewisham Council against Sec of State, Jeremy Hunt and TSA Matthew Kershaw. The JR applications seek to overturn the decision to close down Lewisham Hospital’s current well-respected acute, emergency and maternity services. Yesterday left the impression that the Government has one sole argument: that where the legislation allowing a TSA to be installed and make recommendations ‘in relation to THE trust’, and where people who understand English take ‘the trust’ to mean Sout London Healthcare NHS trust, the one in real financial difficulties, the Government wants the judge to rule that ‘in relation to the trust’ actually means in relation to any trust (ie Lewisham) and anything he thinks fit! Our legal teams battled with this deceit well. The rest of the day saw the launching of the Four Tests challenge by the Campaign’s team – Government guidance that the local CCG commissioners required to support reconfiguration had to be the LEAD COMMISSIONER FOR THE MAJORITY POPULATION AFFECTED BY THE MEASURES! So clearly, that is Lewisham CCG and it remains unanimously opposed to the TSA proposals and Hunt’s decisions. Such a strong point. Then, the failure to consult on children entirely, the failure to consult on the maternity option adopted, the lack of clinical evidence that would stand up to scrutiny, and the reduction in choice, especially for women came like blow after blow to the Government case. Day 3 today 4th July sees the final arguments, rebuttals and closing summaries. Keep daring to expect justice for Lewisham Hospital and our community

Day 3 Today was the final day in the High Court, Royal Courts of Justice for this historic 3-day judicial review of the challenges by Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and Lewisham Council against Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt and TSA Matthew Kershaw. This is the first time the TSA regime has been used and therefore the first time it has been abused. Hence the sense of history. The JR applications seek to overturn the decision to reduce Lewisham Hospital’s current well-respected acute, emergency and maternity services to a virtual walk-in Urgent Care Centre and midwife-led birth centre with reduced safety because of the loss of obstetric and emergency back-up on site. A dramatic back-drop was NHS London’s announcement – strangely coinciding with the final day of our challenge – that they intend to close 9 A&Es from London’s 29 current A&Es over the next 5-6 years. The highlight today was the amazingly weak legal defence of why the Government need not pay regard to the 4 Tests commitment repeatedly given by the PM and Secretary of State specifically on Lewisham: that services would not be diminished or closed unless the 4 Tests were met (local GP commissioning support, clinical evidence to justify service changes, enhanced consultation of public and patients and justification for any impact on patient choice). The TSA proposals SO do not meet the 4 Tests, despite Professor Sir Bruce Keogh giving Hunt cover by saying they did, that Government QC had to argue that the Secretary of State should not be ‘fettered’ by having to keep his promises anyway. Even more tortuous in logic, the QC – clearly in desperation – claimed that final decisions on children’s closures and a half-baked invention of a paediatric urgent care centre – none of which had featured because the TSA ‘forgot’ 63,000 children in Lewisham (300,000 in the whole of south east London) throughout the McKinsey work and consultation – were proof that consultation had been successful. (?) And the same logic was used for the appearance from nowhere of the unsafe, unwanted maternity decision which had not been consulted on: again proof of how the TSA had responded to consultation. (Sorry, I can’t understand that either.) As a mere health worker in the audience, I felt we had proven that the TSA and Secretary of State both were acting ‘ultra vires’ – beyond their legal powers – and that the 4 Tests were certainly not met. And saving the best till last, Government guidance on the 4 Tests was quoted: it defines the need for local GP commissioning support as backing from the lead commissioner/CCG for the majority population affected by the service changes – absolutely clear that this means Lewisham CCG for Lewisham people threatened with loss of Lewisham Hospital. This cuts across TSA Kershaw’s deception where he claimed he could take the majority view of 6 other CCGs ‘out voting’ Lewisham. The ‘4 Tests’ was a real challenge to the Government side: the QC was unsure whether he could answer the judge as to whether and when the Secretary of State could or should respect these tests – an embarrassing urgent consultation described as a ‘car crash’. We hope that Judge Justice Silber will see the integrity of these and other arguments from our combined challenges and set aside Hunt’s decision to undermine the excellence of Lewisham Hospital by closing essential services. At the close I felt extremely proud of our legal team, our community, our hospital and our campaign.  Tony O’Sullivan

Press Those attending the Royal Courts of Justice and available to interview from 9:30am on Tuesday 2 July include the following:

  • Richard Stein from Leigh Day – 07976 780 305
  • Rosa Curling from Leigh Day – 07766 053068
  • Louise Irvine, GP and Chair of SLH – 07922 277395
  • Vicky Penner, mum of three and patient – 07770 941337
  • Tony O’Sullivan, Director of Paediatric Services, Lewisham Hospital- 07973 137345
  • John O’Donohue, Consultant at hospital – 07711 720200
  • Jos Bell, patient – 07977 090972
We’ve raised the £20,000 for our legal fund- huge thanks to all of you, to 38 Degrees and Millwall Football Club
About our judicial review
Our judicial review is separate but complementary to that of the Council. The reveiws are being held together on July 2-4. The legal action, launched by lawyers Leigh Day on behalf of Save Lewisham Hospital, claims that the decision to downgrade and close services at the hospital is unlawful as the Administrator’s powers, and therefore the Secretary of State’s too, related to South London Healthcare NHS Trust only. They did not extend to the Lewisham Trust. Our judicial review is complementary to the Council judicial review.

Rosa Curling from law firm Leigh Day, who is representing the Save Lewisham Hospital Group said: “We have advised our client that the decision taken by Mr Hunt to substantially cut services at Lewisham Hospital is unlawful. The consultation process which took place about the proposals was flawed, the four tests Mr Hunt confirmed would have to be satisfied before any reconfiguration proposals could proceed have not been met, and the Secretary of State has misunderstood his own legal powers. “We have written to the Secretary of State setting out the basis of our client’s case but to date, he has chosen not to respond. Our client has no option therefore but to issue proceedings and to request that the Court urgently intervene. The campaign is asking the Court to declare Mr Hunt’s decision unlawful and to quash it, so Mr Hunt can reconsider.” Dr Louise Irvine, chair of the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign said: “We believe the decision to downgrade Lewisham Accident & Emergency and Maternity units was taken unlawfully as it does not satisfy the four tests that Jeremy Hunt himself set for any hospital reconfiguration. We also believe using the special administration process for South London Healthcare Trust to effect a reconfiguration of services in Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust, which is not part of South London Healthcare Trust, was wrong. “This issue is of vital importance to the people of Lewisham who risk losing vital local services and are united in their opposition to the decision and their determination to defend our hospital. We look forward to our day in court to challenge Mr Hunt’s decision, which we are confident we have a very good chance of winning.” Click here to download full press statement Click here to download full legal case

46 thoughts on “Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign legal challenge

  1. Sarah Nicola says:

    I will contribute and I really hope you succeed. Lewisham needs it’s A and E and maternity services and not to mention how will the other hospitals cope with its sudden rise in patients, it’s ludicrous when London and hospitals are already struggling to cope with the numbers. I suspect it’s a ploy by Hunt to shut the successful hospitals then eventually bring in private company’s, as the hospital then lacks services!! So let’s fight him a the way, especially as it’s a colation government so again
    surely they cannot make serious decisions without an overall consensus?it’s very dangerous when colation governments think they can act like this without the support of the nation.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Sarah. I’m sure you’re right. Things are happening so fast and not being reported.


    • Jackie says:

      Brilliantly put Sarah.

    • Wilson says:

      I agree with the need to fight, but it’s not just the coalition Government which is at fault, it’s every Government which we’ve had since 1945. I suggest you check out this campaign too – .

      The International Bill of Human Rights contains the right to “the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health” and that can’t be achieved by shutting down any ‘health care services’ provided by the NHS. Indeed the UN has in the past praised the NHS but has also told our Governments that having it, and even our social security system, does not satisfy all of their obligations under International Laws.

      So you can imagine what they have to say about other UN Member States, some of whom are still Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, alongside the UK, and are currently engaged in providing arms for Syria (apparently a member since 1945).

      No UN Member State seems to have complied with International Human Rights Laws and consequently neither does the judiciary. So please support this too.

      • Ian Tucker says:

        Having obtained a copy of the National Helath Act it stipulates that the Secretary of State for Health has a Statutory Duty to deliver Healthcare. I would have thought that any attempt at closure or of privatisation of teh Taxpayers’ assets would have been Ultra Vires of the National Health Act. In fact failure to deliver Healthcare in whatever proportion or part is surely a criminal offence or am I barking up the wron tree??

    • Ian Tucker says:

      There are far too many closures of A&E facilities at hospitals across the UK. So much so that distances are becoming greater and thus making it almost impossible for the acronym A&E to become superfulous as by the time the emergency services are able to deliver the patient it will be too late. FOr this reason alone The Secretray of State and his attendant ministers are surely acting Ultra Vires in closing any departments and certainly to “sell off” any part of teh NHS services to private profiteering is surely criminal in light of the obligations under the Act? Moreover the raison d’etre of the NHS is service as apposed to Private Healthcare where the raison d’etre is Profit??

    • ebe says:

      I will contribute and I really hope you succeed. Lewisham needs it’s A and E and maternity services and not to mention how will the other hospitals cope with its sudden rise in patients, it’s ludicrous when London and hospitals are already struggling to cope with the numbers. I suspect it’s a ploy by Hunt to shut the successful hospitals then eventually bring in private company’s, as the hospital then lacks services!! So let’s fight him a the way, especially as it’s a colation government so again
      surely they cannot make serious decisions without an overall consensus?it’s very dangerous when colation governments think they can act like this without the support of the nation.

  2. Jackie says:

    Can I suggest that you set up a pay pal account to receive donations? A lot of people will find that much easier and will be more likely to donate there and then. There is the potential you could lose contributors if people have to remember to phone their bank tomorrow or rummage around for their cheque book…if they have one, that is.

    • admin says:

      Yes we re doing that in the next few days. Thanks you’re absolutely right.

      • Mary Russell says:

        Agree about the need for a Paypal.

        • Adam Clifford says:

          Not having a paypal account is to miss a serious trick.They facilitate donation by about 500%.I’ll call back and make use of your paypal account.

          • admin says:

            nearly finished setting up plus charity giving as well

          • admin says:

            Paypal now active

  3. Jackie says:

    Any news on the paypal account yet? I’m sure you will find a lot of people will donate much quicker when there is an electronic way of doing so. Another option is I think that justgiving receives Gift Aid for charitable causes. The irony would obviously be that the govt would be contributing to a fund that was taking them to court!

    • admin says:

      We are working on it, any moment now.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Adam.
      Olivia for SLHC

  4. Hannah B says:

    Paypal link working fine!
    Have sent this link on to Glos and to Wilts 38 degrees groups and to Stroud Against the Cuts admin. How could we not support you with Rosa Curling there and the support and advice we got from all the campaigners everywhere that enabled the Glos community health services to stay in the NHS?!
    Thank you for fighting. Right by your side always. Hannah

    • admin says:

      Thanks for your fantastic support Hannah. Lets hope we get success for our hospital.

  5. Wilson says:

    I’ve tried to email the campaigners at their alleged email address at about this campaign. And it has just bounced back to me. The postmaster or ; claims that “This user doesn’t have a account”.

    So is there something wrong with your link on this website?

    Please consider the content of this petition too at and ask the legal team to consider widening their legal challenge to include International Law under the International Bill of Human Rights too.

    • admin says:

      Hi, You’ve put a double ‘i’ in the middle of lewisham. The address works fine. Look forward to hearing from you.

      • Wilson says:

        Thanks for confirming that, but I didn’t put anything into it at all, this time. I just clicked on the ‘Or you can email us here’ link on this webpage - and it opened up my mail service provider. So I didn’t notice this tiny error.

        I’ve also just copied the address off it again, and its come out as again. So I assume that must be faulty right enough and you will check that out too and get it fixed to ensure others don’t get the same problem.

        I’ll email you directly soon about other stuff I wanted to mention.


        • admin says:

          Thanks will check it out

        • admin says:

          I fixed it thanks – thanks for taking time to let us know

  6. Lee says:

    The Hospital could actually help many more patients if the traffic jams at Catford and Ladywell were easied investing in public services and road projects across the railway line. Many residents in West Lewisham may go to King’s College hospital because though further away it’s easier to reach during weekdays. I have been at Lewisham Hospital recently and contrary to the sometime low image of Lewisham, it is a jewel of health service centre where the professionalism of the service I received was VERY satisfactory.
    The gov has targeted the wrong hospital. And they should instead look at how to ease congestions to better travel to the Hospital from west of the borough, which will help also locals, businesses and other services too! These are staff who are actually helping to turn around the area, with a great essential service where is most needed. Work on the roads instead.

  7. John Riggins says:

    I’ve donated only £10 I’m afraid, just hope it helps to put a stop to Hunt and his lunatic schemes that he and the Government of which he is a member seem to determined to not only milk this country of what assets it has left but to totally destroy it so that only they and their multi-millionaire pals will survive and prosper.
    Enough Hunt, no more of your lunatic antics, it’s too serious now to be funny any longer!

    • admin says:

      That’s fantastic! Thanks. £10 is great, we are grateful for whatever people can afford – its your commitment to the fight to save our hospital and to defeat Hunt in court that’s important. Thanks again.
      Olivia for SLHC

  8. Jackie says:

    HUGE CONGRATULATIONS. I have just heard that you have reached your target! Wishing Lewisham all the very best for the court case. The nation’s eyes will be watching what happens. You have so much support across the whole country for this! Well done!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Jackie! We are proud, we are fighting, the community stands together.

  9. Pingback: Save Lewisham Hospital: Please Get Involved in “Justice for Lewisham Week,” June 29 to July 5, 2013 | Andy Worthington

  10. Pingback: Lewisham Mounts Legal Challenge To Jeremy Hunt 2 July 2013 | ukgovernmentwatch

  11. Julie Johnston says:

    I live just down the road from QE Hospital – it closer to me than Lewisham A&E – however when needed I always go to Lewisham A&E as the waits are far shorter than at QE last time at QE it was 7-8 hours!Also the staff, care and service are better at Lewisham A&E by a long way in my opinion.

  12. 'Joe Public' says:

    Made it for day 1 but again cant make day 3. All digit’s crossed and very well dont to all fighters. Olivia and the People’s Commission working group – very well done indeed! What a day Saturday was! Absolutely astounding! Thanks indeed also to Michael Mansfiels QC and his team for givng up their day for us – FOC!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Joe on behalf of the Commission team. We felt it was everything we d hoped for and worked for and more. We Re going to make a film using the almost 25 hours of witness statements and video of the day to make a film which we will launch with the report in September. Win or lose the court case, the vultures will be circling round Lewisham Hospital and many others as we heard yesterday.

  13. Ian Tucker says:

    Successive Governments believe they can simply do as they please. It is all very well passing Acts of Parliament to incorporate and give license to provide the services for which tax payers provide the finance but The Secretary of State and ministers whose job it is to administer these services have to act within the encted law. Breach of this law and failure to deliver the Statutory services is in effect a crime – it is breaking the law. Moreovero for any elected MP enjoying ministerial status has a legal obligations to deliver the service and all acts of parliament giving such authority clearly determine this obligation at its outset. Hence Andrew Lansley the former Secretary of State for Health was no able to offload his statutory legal obligation to a chief executive. The law made him responsible and for this reason surely successive Secretaries of State must fulfill the law. Thereore it must surely be illegal to limit or minimise the delivery of healthcare particularly as the NHS is a service paid for by the taxpayer thuse it is an asset belonging to the taxpayer and in no way is it in business to make a profit that is not its raison d’etre.

  14. Rickie says:

    Hello! I just would like to give you a huge thumbs up for the great
    info you have right here on this post. I’ll be returning to your website for more soon.

  15. Ian Tucker says:

    Knowledge is power read the Health Acts and realise exactly the statutory obligations of any Secretary of State. Remeber MPs are elected for a maximum of 5 years and the relection ddepends entirely upon YOU. Their relection must surely depend upon how they represent YOUR interests while enjoying elected power. MPs are elected to serve the people not themselves and their personal interests. Remember too the NHS founded in 1948 was as a consequence of years of mysery whilst only privilege bought healthcare. We must allow circumstances and MPs to return our helath to those times. Healthcare is a right not a privilege we the taxpayer pay for it even though those who chose to minimise it qualify this statement by saying it is free and a benefit [free at point of delivery]. Our NHS is prepaid by taxation. Private healthcare is prepaid by insurance premiums.

  16. Ian Tucker says:


  17. Wilson says:

    I agree with the sentiments Ian, but did you try the link to the petition I mentioned in my comment on the 9th June, as it’s still only got 41 signatures? Whereas it could have over a hundred thousand if everyone who supported this campaign signed it too.

    You’ve said that knowledge is power, which would explain why successive Governments since 1948 have kept all of our rights as ‘Proclaimed’ in the International Bill of Human Rights since the issue of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Dec 1948, a secret from us.

    Although that document also contained the obligation for all nations to “strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance”.

    I’ve found evidence that in 1949 our Government did nothing at all to ensure we were all educated about the Universal Declaration at all. So what do they care about obligations as our MP’s or as Secretaries of State, if they have been evading their International Human Rights obligations for decades?

    It’s not a right because it is paid for by taxes, but it is a Human Rights and that is why it should be paid for by taxes, as should a proper system of justice which is compliant with International Law, which the Civil Justice system isn’t and hasn’t been for many decades too.

    Article 25 of the Universal Declaration was the first mention of ‘health’ as a right, but Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, drawn up in 1966 is the main source now as that Covenant has been ‘legally binding’ on the UK since the 20th Aug 1976. But does it even get mentioned in the Health Act? I’m guessing not because the Governments of Europe have been ignoring all of those rights too, using their perverse notions of limited rights under the 1950 European Convention.

    But of course no individuals have the right, let alone the money to lobby the UN for this to be put right. That’s because corruption is rife throughout the world and politicians are doing nothing to change that either.

  18. Ian Tucker says:

    Thanks for your reply. The dificulty is always cost of bringin any legal representation. Those supposedly elected and those appointed by those elected have a legal and perhaps statutory obligation to convey all aspects of our Human Rights and witholding such information is simply criminally negligent. As I have said knowlege is power and it is only by costly investigation in many instances do we ever become aware. As far a British Statutes are concerned if they have left out something fundamental to those universal rights such as Article 25 of the Universal Declaration was the first mention of ‘health’ as a right, but Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, drawn up in 1966 is the main source now as that Covenant has been ‘legally binding’ on the UK since the 20th Aug 1976. Then we must argue that it is binding by default and remedies by including in the Health Act? This may be difficult given the attitude towards our European obligations of which we are not too keen becasue of its social obligations. I didn’t know about Article 25 of the Universal Declaration being first mention of ‘health’ as a right, but Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, drawn up in 1966 as the main and that Covenant has been ‘legally binding’ on the UK since the 20th Aug 1976. Nevertheless under the Health Acts it is specifically stated that the Secretary is bound to provide Healthcare to the population of England which by itself gives sufficient strength to his/her socila obligations in itself creates a right. The means of payment simply endorses that it is not free a completely wrong statement to make even with qaulifying it by saying “free at point of delivery”. It somewhat undermines this statutroy obligation and emplies it is a benefit. After all look at the confusion over State Pensions – regarded as a benefit because it is paid from the benefits budget [all academic whn it is paid from a central fund no being ringfenced as it should.

  19. Pingback: More Photos from “Born in Lewisham,” the Protest to Save Lewisham Hospital, March 16, 2013 | Andy Worthington

  20. Bill Settle says:

    Massive congratulations – the Dewsbury (W Yorks) Save Our Local Hospital Services group will certainly take heart from your victory as their local proposals have been sent to Jeremy Hunt for review. (and still today the Mid Yorks NHS Trust release proposals (Spin?) to ‘invest’ millions into the hospital whilst ploughing on to downgrade A&E, maternity and paediatric services

    • admin says:

      Thanks – and all the best with your fight We just have to keep on fighting, not giving up, having the confidence to take them on and make our case in every way possible. Everywhere they want to downgrade A&E, maternity and paediatrics – its like its the only idea they have. We all need locally accessible care – while agreeing that some things need to be treated in specialist centres. They are paying millions to firms like KPMG, PWC and Monitor. Billions to PFI deals.


  21. Ian Tucker says:

    I have been saying for a very long time that the Secretary of State of the day has been acting Ultra Vires of the National Health Service Act 2006 and been getting away with it. He has a statutory reuirement to deliver health care to teh population. However now hunt has lost both court case there is move a foot to change the legislation and todo this will be required to come up with proposals for a new National Health Services Act. we all know the changes to this requirement will be shrouded in duplicity and mystery until Healthcare is mad “competitive” as with the Energy Market. SImply MPs are not elected to be entrepreneurs with Taxpayers’ money and must be stoppped from manipulating Acts of parliament to satisfy their greed in privatisation

    Secretary of State’s duty to promote health serviceE+W(1)The Secretary of State must continue the promotion in England of a comprehensive health service designed to secure improvement—
    (a)in the physical and mental health of the people of England, and
    (b)in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness.
    (2)The Secretary of State must for that purpose provide or secure the provision of services in accordance with this Act.
    (3)The services so provided must be free of charge except in so far as the making and recovery of charges is expressly provided for by or under any enactment, whenever passed.
    General power to provide servicesE+W2Secretary of State’s general powerE+W(1)The Secretary of State may—
    (a)provide such services as he considers appropriate for the purpose of discharging any duty imposed on him by this Act, and
    (b)do anything else which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the discharge of such a duty.
    (2)Subsection (1) does not affect—
    (a)the Secretary of State’s powers apart from this section,
    (b)Chapter 1 of Part 7 (pharmaceutical services).
    Provision of particular servicesE+W3Secretary of State’s duty as to provision of certain servicesE+W(1)The Secretary of State must provide throughout England, to such extent as he considers necessary to meet all reasonable requirements—
    (a)hospital accommodation,
    (b)other accommodation for the purpose of any service provided under this Act,
    (c)medical, dental, ophthalmic, nursing and ambulance services,
    (d)such other services or facilities for the care of pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding and young children as he considers are appropriate as part of the health service,
    (e)such other services or facilities for the prevention of illness, the care of persons suffering from illness and the after-care of persons who have suffered from illness as he considers are appropriate as part of the health service,
    (f)such other services or facilities as are required for the diagnosis and treatment of illness.
    (2)For the purposes of the duty in subsection (1), services provided under—
    (a)section 83(2) (primary medical services), section 99(2) (primary dental services) or section 115(4) (primary ophthalmic services), or
    (b)a general medical services contract, a general dental services contract or a general ophthalmic services contract,
    must be regarded as provided by the Secretary of State.
    (3)This section does not affect Chapter 1 of Part 7 (pharmaceutical services).
    4High security psychiatric servicesE+W(1)The Secretary of State’s duty under section 1 includes a duty to provide hospital accommodation and services for persons who—
    (a)are liable to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (c. 20), and
    (b)in the opinion of the Secretary of State require treatment under conditions of high security on account of their dangerous, violent or criminal propensities.
    (2)The hospital accommodation and services mentioned in subsection (1) are referred to in this section and paragraph 15 of Schedule 4 (NHS trusts) as “high security psychiatric services”.
    (3)High security psychiatric services may be provided only at hospital premises at which services are provided only for the persons mentioned in subsection (1).
    (4)“Hospital premises” means—
    (a)a hospital, or
    (b)any part of a hospital which is treated as a separate unit.
    5Other servicesE+WSchedule 1 makes further provision about the Secretary of State and services under this Act.

  22. Ian Tucker says:

    Hunt is acting Ultra Vires if he fails to provide a proper healthcare and it is not in his remit as an elected politician to downgrade any hospital. The Act is very clear and does not say some healthcare but healthcar to the population and A&E is a fundamental and essential requirment of all healthcare. If he is allowed to falunt the law he can be selective in what he provides in breach of the Act and will be actin illegally and moreover will be in contempt of the Court that prohibited him


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