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Herts CC Feb 18 600 Static

High Court begins hearing into withdrawal of funding for respite centre

The High Court will this week hear a judicial review challenge to a decision to withdraw funding for a respite centre for disabled children.

The Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (HVCCG) had decided to end the £650,000 funding it provides for the Nascot Lawn centre in Watford.

The hearing over that decision was due to begin today (6 February).

Law firm Irwin Mitchell, which represents users of the service, will argue that the CCG’s decision was unlawful because the health body had failed to legally consult with families who would be severely affected by the closure.

The CCG also breached its duty under the National Health Services Act and the Equality Act, Irwin Mitchell will claim.

Alex Rook, a partner at the firm, said: “Taking the case to a judicial review has been a decision that has not been taken lightly but the families feel they have no alternative.

“We now look forward to putting the case forward in the hope that this vital community lifeline remains open so it can continue providing excellent care to children and their families.”

HVCCG had originally announced plans to withdraw funding for the centre in spring 2017. A legal challenge was launched and the CCG agreed to set aside that decision. However, the organisation subsequently decided again to withdraw funding.

After a judge gave permission in January for the latest legal action to proceed, Kathryn Magson, Chief Executive of HVCCG, said: “We made our position clear following the funding decision by our Finance and Performance Committee in November 2017 after extensive consultation with families. In light of the legal proceedings we would not want to comment further at this time.”

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