Happy new year! Once more unto the breach, dear friends!

999 happy new year 2019This is not exactly the seasonal present 999 Call for the NHS were hoping to send you – unfortunately the Court of Appeal has ruled against our challenge to NHS England’s Accountable Care Organisation contract. They published the ruling  on 20 Dec.

The good thing is that – fingers crossed for 3rd time lucky! – we are applying for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

We’re applying for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court because the Court of Appeal ruling has not grappled with the vital issues that our case raised. This is not just our opinion, it is also the informed opinion of our legal team.

This is very annoying and WRONG. We can’t let the Courts sweep vital public interest and legal issues under the carpet.

There’s more info in the Press Release (below) and  on the 999 Call for the NHS website.

We really appreciate the support thousands of people have given our legal challenge to the Accountable Care Organisation contract.

We are aiming to launch our Crowd Justice stage 6 appeal either on 25 Jan or 1 Feb, in order to crowdfund the costs of applying for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Crowd Justice stage 6 will probably try and raise around £6K to cover the costs of applying for permission to appeal, but we have to sort the exact amount over the next week or two.


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#Justice4NHS campaigners seek Supreme Court hearing after Court of Appeal rules cost-cutting NHS contract is lawful

Campaign group 999 Call for the NHS are disappointed with the Court of Appeal decision against them, that NHS England’s contentious new Accountable Care Organisation contract is lawful.

They say the Court of Appeal ruling has not properly addressed vital public interest issues and legal points about the cost-cutting contract’s pricing methods.

So the group are now applying to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal.

Thousands of people  support the campaign group’s case. It aims to protect the NHS and the public who rely on it, from a damaging new contract that is explicitly designed to “manage demand” for healthcare.

The campaign group say that means restricting patients’ access to treatments. This would abandon the core principle that the NHS provides a comprehensive service for everyone. Which is why they cannot give up now.

In order to cover the costs of the application, 999 Call for the NHS will shortly launch a new crowdfunding appeal, via the online CrowdJustice platform.

Over the past 18 months,  the 999 Call for the NHS case against the Accountable Care Organisation contract has been crowdfunded in five stages by thousands of members of the public.

In the Court of Appeal on 20th November, the group’s barrister David Lock QC presented the group’s case in an intellectually rigorous argument where the public benefit was the paramount concern.  The contested new block contract for an area’s whole healthcare system would permit providers to bid for it on the basis of competition on price.  This would create a race to the bottom, worsening existing restrictions on patients’ access to NHS treatments.

NHS England told the Court of Appeal that legislation about NHS contracts and pricing is so flexible and permissive that it permits just about anything. And they claimed the new contract’s cost-cutting payment method promotes innovation and integration, which are statutory goals for the NHS. But they didn’t explain HOW the payment arrangement promotes innovation and integration.  Nor did the judges ask them to.

999 Call for the NHS campaigner Jenny Shepherd said,

“The judges may not have been bothered – but outside the court, NHS England’s smokescreen of “innovation and integration” has people worried.  A GP told me it is all about cost cutting and NOT in the public interest!

In her experience, NHS England’s version of innovation means getting someone with less qualifications to do the job.  And integration means getting one person to do the work of two people (and letting the other one go).”

999 Call for the NHS campaigner Steve Carne added,

“The Court of Appeal judgement against us is pretty scathing. But we can’t see that it has grappled with the case, or provided proper reasons why what we said is wrong. So we hope that the Supreme Court will accept the need for a judgement that really engages with the important public interest issues that our case is based on.”

999 Call for the NHS Chair, Joanne Land, confirmed,

“Vital public interest issues about patients’ access to NHS care have been swept under the carpet by the judgement from the Court of Appeal.  That’s why we have to apply to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal.

“After the Judicial Review and the Court of Appeal rulings, we are hoping for third time lucky in 2019!”

The campaign group’s legal team is Rowan Smith and Anna Dews from the public law firm Leigh Day, and David Lock QC and Leon Glenister from Landmark Chambers

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