Council loses battle for judicial review into A&E closures in north west London
- Credit: Archant
The leader of Ealing Council said the decision to deny a judicial review into A&E closures in north London was ‘flawed’ and has left him ‘very angry’.
The local authority was taking on the NHS at the High Court over plans to downgrade four hospitals; Ealing, Central Middlesex, Hammersmith and Charing Cross.
In a decision which will anger campaigners, Mr Justice Mitting delivered his verdict at the Royal Courts of Justice this afternoon, and said he would not allow not allow the case to proceed to a full judicial review.
Ealing Council leader, Julian Bell, who was at the hearing, said on Twitter after the decision: “NHS bureaucrats should hang their heads in shame.”
He said the decision was ‘flawed’ but said the fight against the cuts will go on, as the plans already been referred to the Secretary of State for Health.
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Jeremy Hunt asked an independent panel to review them, which submitted its report to him in September.
A final decision on whether the plans will go ahead is expected in the next few weeks.
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Disappointed campaigners are now pinning their hopes on the government minister to block the cuts local hospital services, which Cllr Bell described as ‘monstrous’.
In a statement the council leader said: “Everyone involved in the campaign will be devastated by this decision.
“The future of these vital health services now rests with Jeremy Hunt who can still reject these monstrous plans.
“I would urge him to scrap these plans now in response to our very real concerns about the safety of these plans and the ability of remaining services to cope.”
Ealing Council said its cabinet will discuss its next steps on Tuesday, October 22.
Aysha Raza, one of the leaders of the Save Our Hospitals Ealing campaign, said after the verdict it was ‘dark day for justice’.
The group and the council have organised a public rally for the afternoon of Saturday, October 19, opposite Ealing Hospital as they continue to fight the NHS cutbacks.