STRUCTURE: A second attempt to challenge in court the government’s decision to downgrade services at Stafford Hopsital has been launched this week.
Lawyers acting for a member of the community, who wishes to remain anonymous at this stage, lodged papers with Cardiff High Court on Tuesday.
This comes after Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Stafford Kate Godfrey lodged papers at Birmingham High Court last week.
Both cases aim to examine whether health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s decision to accept the recommendations of the Trust Special Administrator in relation to the future shape of services at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust was unlawful.
They claim he undermined this decision by simultaneously ordering a further review of the TSA’s recommendation that the trust lose its consultant led maternity unit.
Michael Imperato of Watkins and Gunn Solicitors, which is acting for the community member told HSJ the health secretary’s position was “inconsistent”.
He said: “If Jeremy Hunt is concerned and wants a review he should not have agreed with the recommendations in the first place.”
HSJ understands the community member, who has been granted legal aid, did not want to work with Ms Godfrey in order to avoid the attempt becoming party political.
The individual has the support of some members of the Support Stafford Hospital campaign but the action is not officially endorsed by the group, some of whom are concerned a legal challenge could lead to the trust losing more services.
Cheryl Porter, a member of Support Stafford Hospital group who is supporting the individual bringing the judicial review, told HSJ the aim was to overturn the TSA’s recommendations to remove obstetric led maternity and inpatient paediatrics from Stafford Hospital.
Decisions on whether judicial reviews will be granted are expected in about a month’s time. It is expected the second attempt will be transferred to an English court for consideration.
Information supplied to HSJ