Royal Brompton child heart unit row goes to High Court
Published: 27th Sep 2011 08:33:44
The Royal Brompton Hospital is starting a legal challenge over what it says was "deeply flawed" consultation which it claims has led to its children's heart surgery unit facing closure.
It says the shutting down of the unit would put the viability of the whole hospital at risk.
The hospital in Chelsea, west London, has the largest specialist heart and lung centre in the UK.
A judicial review over the consultation begins later at the High Court.
Its challenge, which is expected to be heard over three days, is against the consultation process launched by the Joint Committee of the Primary Care Trusts of England as part of a national review aimed at streamlining paediatric congenital cardiac surgery services (PCCS) around the country.
It is believed this is the first legal challenge of its kind to be brought by one NHS body against another.
Our decision to take legal action has been taken with deep regret”
Bob Bell, the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust's chief executive, said: "Our decision to take legal action has been taken with deep regret.
"But the gravity of the consequences for patients of this deeply flawed consultation process left us no other option."
The decision to grant a judicial review was made following a hearing in July.
At that hearing, Alan Maclean QC, for the trust, said the joint committee was proposing under the "Safe and Sustainable" consultation on the future of children's heart surgery in England to reduce the number of centres in London from three to two.
He said it was now clear that the Royal Brompton centre was going to be "ditched" following an "unfair and unlawful" consultation exercise "shot through with legal error".
But Neil Garnham QC, for the joint committee said there had not yet been a final decision that the number of PCCS centres in London would be reduced from three to two.
The three-centre solution "has plainly not been excluded and the joint committee is proceeding with an open mind", said Mr Garnham.
Views in favour of retaining the Royal Brompton's services would be properly considered.
At 07:59:15 in SportPontypridd coach Geraint Lewis says the club will play "arguably the most important game" for 10 years on Saturday when they face Leinster A in the semi-final of the British and Irish Cup.
At 07:49:25 in SportDominic Dale hopes his "lucky" black and white striped shoes will help him overcome fellow qualifier Michael Wasley and reach the quarter-finals of the World Championship.
At 07:45:02 in SportOlympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford has become the outright British record holder after jumping 8.51m at an event at the Olympic Training Centre in San Diego.
At 07:42:22 in HeadlinesThe Pakistani journalist shot last week has issued his first statement, once again blaming the country's intelligence agency for the attack.
At 07:15:06 in WalesEmergency care in Welsh hospitals is suffering from continued uncertainty over the future of A&E units, an assembly committee has said.
At 07:06:33 in SportSwansea City head coach Garry Monk says fellow fledgling boss Ryan Giggs has the experience to succeed at Manchester United but must be true to himself.
At 07:04:15 in WalesA south Wales town has been identified as a blackspot for dumped supermarket trolleys.
At 06:55:55 in ScotlandAbout 100 tonnes of rubbish is on fire at a waste recycling site in Perthshire.
At 06:50:31 in Northern IrelandA car built in Belfast in the 1980s is the centrepiece of a specialist engineering project at Queen's University in the city.
At 06:44:31 in WalesNational parks should be stripped of their planning powers, according to the Farmers' Union of Wales.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. Royal Brompton child heart unit row goes to High Court [Online] (Updated 27th Sep 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/189118/Royal-Brompton-child-heart-unit-row-goes-to-High-Court [Accessed 25th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
About 100 tonnes of rubbish is on fire at a waste recycling site in Perthshire.
A village museum in East Sussex will go up against Tate Britain and the new £35m Mary Rose Museum in a contest to be named the UK's museum of the year.
A new online map of England and Wales allows people to enter their postcode and find their community's risk of developing 14 conditions, such as heart disease and lung cancer.
Iran has cut state subsidies on petrol in a move that saw prices rise at midnight by up to 75%.
A car built in Belfast in the 1980s is the centrepiece of a specialist engineering project at Queen's University in the city.
The M25 in Hertfordshire has reopened after an articulated lorry caught fire on the anti-clockwise carriageway, the Highways Agency said.