Unison has been given a date for a hearing to decide whether a judicial review will be held over the lack of consultation on the NHS white paper.

A legal hearing into the merits of the union’s case will be heard on 14-15 October to decide if permission will be granted for judicial review.

Unison claims that the Department of Health began implementing the reforms set out in health secretary Andrew Lansley’s Liberating the NHSwhite paper before the end of the consultation period, on 11 October.

The public sector workers union also argues that the consultation did not ask whether the reforms should take place at all.

Head of health at Unison Karen Jennings, said: “Unison believes we have a very strong case, and we look forward to putting our evidence before the court.

 “The government’s white paper outlines the biggest overhaul of the health service in its history. The government cannot just bulldoze ahead with sweeping changes to the NHS without asking people what they think - this public right to consultation is enshrined in law.”