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Public law and Regulation

Case reports and guidance on public law and professional regulation issues

11 JAN 2012

Royal Brompton & Harefield Trust NHS Foundation Trust v Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts and another [2011] EWHC 2986 (Admin)

Health – consultation – bias – justicability – legitimate expectation

A consultation into the reconfiguration of health services was unlawful because it breached an NHS Trust’s legitimate expectation.
7 November 2011
Administrative Court
Owen J
(i) Royal Brompton & Harefield Trust NHS Foundation Trust (R) applied for judicial review of a consultation exercise conducted by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (J). R specialised in heart-and-lung treatments. J consulted on changes to how paediatric congenital cardiac services were delivered in England. In March 2011, J published a consultation document which included two main proposals – first, to reduce the number of centres providing congenital cardiac services from 11 to either 6 or 7 and, second, to reconfigure services inline with one of four options. However, each option included a “two London centre” option from which R was excluded. R argued that (1) the decisions had been predetermined; (2) the consultation was irrational; (3) the process was unlawful for misinformation or bias and (4) there had been a breach of a legitimate expectation in the assessment process.

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