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 08:02:46 in HeadlinesAn "immediate ceasefire" in Ukraine must be the priority for key negotiations taking place on Monday, Russia's foreign minister has said.
At 08:00:52 in EnglandMore than 30 firefighters are tackling a blaze at a landfill site in Dorset.
At 07:56:29 in ScotlandSkin cancer cases have increased two-and-a-half fold over the last 30 years but survival rates have also soared, according to researchers from Glasgow.
At 07:55:14 in HeadlinesPakistan's national television channel has been taken off air after its headquarters were stormed by anti-government protesters in Islamabad.
At 07:54:08 in Northern IrelandThe Stormont Assembly is hopeful it has found a buyer for Ormiston House, a building in Belfast that was costing the taxpayer almost £3,000 a week.
At 07:48:10 in EnglandA motorcyclist has died after crashing while riding on the slip road of a motorway in Hampshire.
At 07:46:22 in EnglandA motorcyclist has been killed in a crash after appearing to lose control, Kent Police said.
At 07:45:04 in WalesSpeed restrictions signs have been put up outside half the schools in Flintshire in time for the start of the new term with the remainder due to be complete by October.
At 07:44:31 in SportBradford Bulls have signed Salford Red Devils winger Danny Williams on a two-year deal.
At 07:43:31 in BusinessA single, larger hub airport where passengers can transfer to a range of destinations - is "critical" to the UK's long-term economic growth, says the CBI.
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 1st Sep 2014]
News In Other Categories
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
Millions of children in England will begin a "tough" new national curriculum when they return to school this week.
Bradford Bulls have signed Salford Red Devils winger Danny Williams on a two-year deal.
More than 30 firefighters are tackling a blaze at a landfill site in Dorset.
Speed restrictions signs have been put up outside half the schools in Flintshire in time for the start of the new term with the remainder due to be complete by October.
Under Milk Wood is an acknowledged radio classic. Dylan Thomas's dramatic masterpiece was first broadcast in January 1954 and almost nobody involved is left alive. But to mark the poet's centenary the original sound effects man has been persuaded to return to rattle the teacups one last time.