The High Court has dismissed a judicial review challenge to West Herts Valleys CCG’s alleged failure to carry out formal public consultation prior to shortlisting and then approving  an outline business case in respect of  reconfiguration of services at Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans hospitals.

The case has helpfully clarified that the duty of public involvement and related statutory guidance does not entail a to a duty to carry out a formal consultation exercise whenever there is a substantial change or variation to services. Unless in the circumstances there was no rational alternative to formal public consultation, significant public engagement and involvement even if falling short of full formal consultation, was sufficient discharge of the CCGs s.14S(2) duties under the NHS Act 2006.  Jeremy was instructed for the Defendant by Michael Rourke of Hempsons.

Full judgment for [2021] EWHC 12 (Admin) available here.