Date set for Judicial Review into West Herts hospital plans

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A judicial review into plans to redevelop hospital services in West Hertfordshire is set to be heard in October.

Last year the Herts Valleys CCG and the West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust (WHHT) formally backed plans to bid for £350million of NHS funding.

As part of those plans the bulk of that funding would be invested on the Watford General site – with some services in St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead hospitals.

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But members of the New Hospital Campaign questioned whether the alternative option of a new hospital was fully and fairly considered as part of that process.

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And Ron Glatter – acting on behalf of the campaign – applied for a judicial review so the decision-making of the CCG and WHHT could be scrutinised by the courts.

Judicial review is a legal process where a person can legally challenge the lawfulness of a decision, action or failure to act of a public body, such as a clinical commissioning group.

It focuses not on the conclusion reached, but the way in which a decision has been made and the procedures followed.

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And it is believed the challenge to the CCG’s decisions will focus on whether or not the CCG made the decisions ‘without holding the required public consultation’.

The judicial review has now been scheduled for two days on October 27 and 28.

If current Covid-19 restrictions remain in place it is likely the hearing would be held virtually.

Meanwhile, in recent weeks it has emerged that further funding may be available for the Trust, which is now reassessing its options for further development – which includes replacing rather than refurbishing existing buildings and the development of alternative sites.

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Commenting on the date for the hearing Mr Glatter said he would have liked it to be scheduled sooner.

And he said that for now the campaign was focussed on the ongoing work by the Trust to consider proposals and sites for future hospital services, should those further funds be forthcoming.

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