After many years of lots and lots of amicable discussions with the local NHS including the CCG and trust about hospital provision in the area , the New Hospital Campaign felt that legal action was needed. This was a last resort.
In October 2019 they gained permission to hold a Judicial Review of the process that led to the decision by the CCG and trust sending their SOC to NHS England/Improvement for approval in July 2019.
They describe the judicial review as follows :-
“A judicial review will involve a court looking at the procedures followed by the authorities, and deciding if these were followed correctly. If not, the whole question of which option to choose (including the option of a new hospital) will be back on the table.”
They have now succeeded in raising £20,000 through public donations via a crowd-funder page . In responding to the claim made by The New Hospital campaign, the CCG and trust will need to demonstrate to the court that they have effectively consulted with the public and by not offering an option for a hospital on a clear site, did not arrive at a conclusion that did not take into account the full facts.
If the campaign group is successful the CCG/trust will need to either re-do the work properly, and/or put new proposals out to the public.
In our view this does not automatically mean the previous SOC will be changed to consider building a new hospital on a greenfield site BUT it is a possibility.
In trying to build consensus amongst all of the stakeholders, we would urge everyone to consider whether the process was flawed and if it was to engage with us and other stakeholders more comprehensively to develop a solution that works for everyone across West Herts.