The Judicial Review was held in Leeds High Court on April 24th. National campaign group 999 Call for the NHS brought the Judicial Review in order to support and uphold two key principles: that government agencies must act in accordance with the law - which in this case is mainly set out in the 2012 Health and Social Care Act; and that the NHS is a comprehensive health service, free at the point of need for all who have a clinical need for it.
999 Call for the NHS’s key argument in the Judicial Review was that the payment mechanism in the Accountable Care Organisation contract would violate both principles.
The Accountable Care Organisation contract’s payment mechanism would mean that an NHS provider for a whole area would be paid a fixed lump sum each year, in return for providing a range of health care services, on a risk/gain share basis. This cost-cutting initiative is designed to “manage demand” for NHS and social care services, through decoupling payment from the treatments that are actually provided, and making the provider carry the risk of overspending, and gain if they spent less than the fixed lump sum. If the contract were to to go to a private health company, this would incentivise profiteering.
NHS England, local clinical commissioning groups, local authorities and Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships are pushing ahead to redisorganise NHS and social care into local accountable care systems (recently re-branded Integrated Care Systems in order to avoid the connotations of the USA’s health care system). These cost-cutting local health and social care services would operate on reduced budgets and capacity, take the “National” out of the NHS and have the effect of restricting patients’ access to NHS and social care.
Steven Carne from the 999 Call for the NHS Judicial Review team said,
“ We are not satisfied with the Judge’s ruling, which we think is seriously flawed. We now have 21 days to prepare an appeal and will be working with our legal team to investigate this option.
We thank the hundreds if not thousands of people who have supported this Judicial Review through campaigning in their local areas in support of its goals, and through donations to the costs of the Judicial Review. Without you we could not have done this.
We thank Rowan Smith at Leigh Day and barristers David Lock and Leon Glennister at Landmark Chambers for their generous work on the Judicial Review.
Getting to this stage has involved over 12 months of solid research and working with our lawyers. The issues raised by the Accountable Care Organisation Contract reach across the entire country.
Click the button to find out more about the "march to the court" over the last 12 months
999 Call for the NHS were in Leeds High Court on 24th April for the hearing of our Judicial Review of NHS England’s contentious Accountable Care Organisation contract. Our challenge was that the contract’s introduction of a new payment mechanism is unlawful under current NHS and social care legislation and national tariff rules.
As expected, Judge Kerr reserved judgment. Later he passed judgement in favour of NHS England. But we and the legal team were so appalled at the judgement that we immediately applied to appeal his decision.
The button below will take you to a page of videos from the rally outside the courts at 9am.
Speakers from local campaign groups telling their story about WHY Accountabee Care is a terrible idea
In addition to all the wodderful Yorkshire campaigners we were proud to be joined by campaigners from as far afield as Oxford, Essex, London, Darlington and Chorley.
999 Call for the NHS and their legal team at Leigh Day and Landmark Chambers are disappointed that the Judge has ruled against them in the Judicial Review of the lawfulness of the Whole Population Annual Payment mechanism in NHS England’s contentious draft Accountable Care Organisation contract.
We now have 21 days to consider an appeal against this ruling, which we find seriously flawed.
999 Call for the NHS had asked for the case to be heard over 2 days but only 1 day was allocated. We do feel a case as important as this deserved more time.