999 Call for NHS has 21 days to appeal Judge’s ruling that cost-cutting NHS contract is lawful

We are disappointed that the Judge has ruled against us in our Judicial Review of the lawfulness of the cost-cutting payment mechanism in NHS England’s contentious draft Accountable Care Organisation contract.

We are not satisfied with the Judge’s ruling, which we think is seriously flawed. We now have 21 days to prepare an appeal and will be working with our legal team to investigate this option.

#NHS4All campaign

The Judicial Review was held in Leeds High Court on April 24th. We brought the Judicial Review in order to support and uphold two key principles: that government agencies must act in accordance with the law; and that the NHS is a comprehensive health service, free at the point of need for all who have a clinical need for it.

We think the payment mechanism in the Accountable Care Organisation contract would violate both principles.

This cost-cutting initiative is designed to “manage demand” for NHS and social care services.

It would pay an NHS provider an annual fixed sum for each person in an area, in return for providing a range of health care services, on a risk/gain share basis. That would make the provider carry the risk of overspending. And if the provider spent less than the fixed lump sum, it would be able to keep the money.

This introduces financial considerations into doctors’ decisions about treating patients, which violates the core NHS principle that treatment is available to all on the basis of clinical need.

The #NHS4All campaign continues – information and resources are on the 999 Call for the NHS website here.  The fight by loads of campaigns at the local level is as important as the fight through the courts.

We thank the hundreds if not thousands of people who have supported this Judicial Review through campaigning in their local areas in support of its goals, coming to court in Leeds and Manchester and through donations to the costs of the Judicial Review. Without you we could not have done this.

We will be in touch with supporters soon with more information about our next steps in #Justice4NHS and #NHS4All.

We thank Rowan Smith at Leigh Day and barristers David Lock and Leon Glennister at Landmark Chambers for their generous work on the Judicial Review.

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