Health trust faces legal review

Posted on October 30, 2009. Filed under: Arm's length providers, News stories | Tags: |

Hull & East Riding Mail | 30 October 2009

A judicial review has been called for over NHS Hull’s decision to transfer frontline health services to a social enterprise company.

As previously reported in the Mail, the primary care trust (PCT), wants to transfer staff and services, including district nursing and health visiting, to City Health Care Partnership (CHCP).

Now, the move, which has faced criticism from unions, has been delayed after NHS Hull received a call for a judicial review.

The trust said it was initially served notice of a proposed claim for a judicial review “by an individual” last month.

The claim was disputed by NHS Hull’s solicitors, but the PCT has subsequently received a formal claim.

It now has to file a “formal acknowledgement of service” to the court by mid-November and the court will then decide whether or not to undertake a judicial review.

Tina Smallwood, director of human resources at the trust, said it is aiming for the services and staff to separate from NHS Hull during or before March.

However, this could be delayed further if the courts decide to review the decision.

Ms Smallwood said: “NHS Hull has received a claim for judicial review.

“This means a legal challenge has been made against the decision taken by NHS Hull to transfer its provider arm to a community interest company.

“The primary care trust is required to compile a response by mid-November, following which the case may enter the judicial system.”

As reported in yesterday’s Mail, Unite, alongside other staff unions, will be asking managers at the PCT to hold a ballot of the staff as to whether they are in favour of transferring to CHCP.

Ray Gray, regional officer for Unison, said: “We are aware of the judicial review.

“I believe it’s two patients who have asked for it.

“The reason they have done it is because the public weren’t consulted and they were completely unaware of it.

“In April, the trust said it was advised by solicitors it didn’t have to consult the public. That’s a stupid move.

“It’s a major change to health services in Hull and there’s no way they can get away with it without consulting the public.”

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