High Court challenge over beds shake-up

Hospital campaigners are pressing ahead with a high court challenge over the way health chiefs handled a public consultation over a community bed shake-up.

Hospital campaigners are pressing ahead with a high court challenge over the way health chiefs handled a public consultation over a community bed shake-up.

Supporters of Kelling Hospital at Holt say the closure of its 22-bed Lascelles ward was done after an informal consultation rather than the formal one required, and that it did not look at the bigger picture of bed blocking and shortages across the countyhealth service.

Spokesman Charles Simeons said they also disagreed with the NHS Norfolk board's claims the ward was not fit for purpose, as campaigners' expert surveys took a different view.

“Lascelles was not the Savoy but it was better than lying in a corridor or waiting at home in pain for a hospital bed,” he added.


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The consultation was flawed and they were now seeking to take it to a high court judicial review, which would look at whether the decision was taken legally.

Costs were so far under £2,000 and could rightfully be drawn from interest earned by the Kelling Appeal and hospital friends' funds which had been building while major spending was put on ice until the future of the complex became clearer.

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NHS Norfolk said it had not been notified of the judicial review, but associate director of communications and patient and public involvement Trish Turner said it was “committed to involving patients, carers and the public in our planning and decision-making process.”

She added: “Consultation on Lascelles ward was carried out in a professional and robust manner and the analysis was done by an independent research company to ensure candour.”

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