• GPs call on commissioners to halt plans to close minor injuries units

GPs have written to NHS England to claim their clinical commissioning group was subject to “misinformation and bias” over plans to close minor injuries units.

Four GP practices have sent a letter to the national body claiming East Riding of Yorkshire CCG breached principles governing public consultation before announcing the closure of three of its six MIUs.

The CCG’s decision to close MIUs at Hornsea, Withernsea and Driffield and create urgent care centres in Beverley, Bridlington and Goole was referred to the health secretary by East Riding Council in April.

Known as the Holderness Health Alliance, the GP practices claim documents released under the Freedom of Information(FoI) Act show the CCG did not follow the Gunning Principles, applicable to all public consultations in the UK, and 

The letter, seen by HSJ, was sent to Richard Armstrong, regional head of public health and primary care at NHS England North Region, and Jonathan Beckerlegge, chair of the CCG’s audit and integrated governance committee.

It states: “We believe…the whole governing body has been subject to misinformation and bias and was not, therefore, in a position to make an independent decision.

“In our opinion, the FoI shows that the Gunning Principles were not followed correctly throughout the process.”

The Gunning Principles were established by the landmark case R v London Borough of Brent ex parte Gunning in 1985 and confirmed by the Court of Appeal in 2001.

They state public bodies must not have made a decision while proposals are still at a formative stage, must provide sufficient reasons for proposals to allow “intelligent consideration”, must give adequate time for consideration and must take consultation responses into account.

Public bodies face the risk of a judicial review if the four principles are not followed.

CCG chief officer Jane Hawkard said: “We believe that the decisions made by our governing body on 21 March following our robust public consultation are the best options for improving urgent care services across the whole population of the East Riding of Yorkshire.”