31 July 2013
High Court quashes decision by Jeremy Hunt to close Services at Lewisham Hospital
In today’s judgment Mr Justice Silber said that the decision of the Secretary of State must be “quashed” as he had acted outside his powers as Secretary of State, and in breach of the National Health Service Act 2006, when he announced to Parliament that services at Lewisham Hospital would be downgraded and closed.
Law firm Leigh Day, representing the Save Lewisham Campaign Group, successfully argued that the decision of the Secretary of State was unlawful. They also successfully argued that the decision of Trust Special Administrator, the first to be appointed under new health service guidance, was also unlawful.
The High Court today found that “The TSA did not have vires [the power] to make his recommendations relating to LH [Lewisham Hospital]; The Secretary of State did not have vires to make his Decision relating to LH.” (Para 208) ‘Therefore the Decision of the Secretary of State insofar as it relates to LH must be quashed as must the recommendations of the TSA also insofar as they relate to LH.’ (Para 210)
Details above taken from http://www.savelewishamhospital.com/ where you can find the full press release from the campaign team.
The Forest Hill Society has consistently supported the campaign to protect services in Lewisham Hospital and welcome today's judgement. We hope that this is an end to the matter and that the Department of Health do not choose to appeal against this judgement.