Fenella Morris QC and Rose Grogan represented NHS England who faced a legal challenge to its plans to overhaul how the health service operates, with claims they are unlawful and could lead to patients being denied treatment.
If the changes go through then Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will have the option to enter into an “Accountable Care Organisation” contract with a provider to supply health care services in their area in an integrated model of care. CCGs will also have the option to pay a single payment to the provider for all of the services they are contracted to provide, instead of paying for each episode of health care treatment given to an individual.
A judicial review has been secured by the campaign group 999 Call for the NHS. The group says the new contracts for the first wave of ACOs are unlawful under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and could threaten patient safety by forcing hospitals and doctors to ration patients’ access to treatment. The Claimants are challenging the single payment model, arguing that it is not compatible with the statutory scheme.
The case, which was heard by the high court sitting in Leeds on 24 April 2018, is the first of two judicial reviews which judges have granted to explore the legality of ACOs. The other, which has been brought by a group including the late cosmologist Prof Stephen Hawking, will be heard in London on 23 and 24 May.
Fenella Morris QC and Rose Grogan will also be involved in the judicial review brought by the ‘Hawking’ group along with Jenni Richards QC and Peter Mant from chambers.
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