Mon, 05 Aug 2013
In a much anticipated and key decision, judgment was handed down in R (London Borough of Lewisham) v Secretary of State for Health on 31 July 2013. Mr Lock QC, acting on behalf of the campaigners who founded the ‘Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign’, went before Mr Justice Silber in early July over three days. Last week the decision of the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to reduce services at a major hospital was declared unlawful and quashed by the High Court.
It was held that the Secretary of State, having appointed a Trust Special Administrator to South London Healthcare NHS Trust, only had power to make recommendations in relation to that trust. However he then went beyond that to make recommendations in relation to Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust. That recommendation was to downgrade services already provided by Lewisham at University Lewisham Hospital. The judge however restricted his quashing of the report and decision in relation to the services provided at Lewisham – holding that particular decision as ultra vires.
However this is unlikely to be the end of the matter. The judge granted permission to appeal.
You can read the full judgment here.
Coverage in the BBC: Click Here
Coverage in the Telegraph: Click Here