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NHS England found to have 'acted unlawfully' after MPIG legal challenge

The High Court has found that NHS England ‘acted unlawfully’ by failing to consult patients on primary care commissioning decisions, after a patient launched a legal bid against the body following the announcement that his practice would lose its MPIG funding.

A ruling by Mr Justice Poppelwell found that NHS England’s ‘failure to make arrangements for the involvement of patients in primary care commissioning decisions’ contravened the National Health Service Act 2006.

The ruling came after Dannie Currie, 35, who is a patient at Jubilee Street Practice in East London, launched the case against NHS England claiming it had ‘breached their duties by destabilising his practice’s funding’.

However, the court threw out a request for a Judicial Review, stating that NHS England was ‘actively considering how it should comply with the duty’.

NHS England had announced that Jubilee Street Practice would lose over £200,000 of MPIG funding and was at risk of potentially closing as a result - however, the local area team later declared that it was going to delay the withdrawal of MPIG for two years for the worst hit practices, following a campaign by surgeries in east London.

However, Mr Justice Poppelwell ruled: ‘It is declared that the Defendant acted unlawfully by reason of its failure to make arrangements for the involvement of patients in primary care commissioning decisions as required by s.13Q of the National Health Service Act 2006’.

His ruling added, however: ‘The defendant is actively considering how it should comply with the duty, and there will be a range of different ways of doing so. The claimant has not identified any particular steps or timetable which the court should impose.’

Jubilee Street Practice previously lent its support to Pulse’s Stop Practice Closures campaign, which raises awareness of the growing crisis in general practice and to help struggling practices fight for better support.

Meanwhile, a Pulse survey recently revealed that one in 20 GPs is considering closing their practice within six months, in the latest indication of the drastic action the profession is considering to survive.

NHS England were unable to provide comment in time for publication.

Readers' comments (8)

  • lets see how the NHSE snakes slither their way out of this

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  • Una Coales

    In other words, NHSE have acted unlawfully and breached the National health service act of 2006 but the High Court Judge lets them off the hook by allowing them to figure out how to comply. Hm ring a bell?

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  • A sham of a democracy run for plutocrats.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Remember Agent H broke the law on attempting to close down Lewisham Hospital but then the law was quietly amended after the High Court ruling .......

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  • Judges have to follow government guidelines, so the government rules. Court decisions can be moulded to protect our irrational decision makers. Explains why the battle against NHSE is an exercise in futility.

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  • Either the withdrawal of MPIG is unlawful or it's not. I see no logic behind the 'halt the withdrawal, but only for the worst-hit practices'. ALL practices with MPIG will be hit, and for some already under financial stress, the loss of just a few more thousand will be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

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  • All for one, one for all. The GPC is spineless, completely, utterly, totally. Contracts imposed, MPIG cut, Pension raised, CQC edicts, unlawful actions and do nothing. ZERO.
    I think we should ballot for mass resignation, rather than see a whole pile of our colleagues, who still see 35-40 patients go to the wall, because of archaic maths.
    Resign and then it will be payment per appointment.
    The whole world is short of doctors.
    What an useless bunch we have as leaders. Dear God, it is shameful that so many GPs are leaving, closing, resigning.

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • @2:33 Agree with you.

    Our leadership is impotent which leaves us as a group without direction. All we can do is make a stand individually as we are doing currently and resign from our partnerships when we can. Its so painful and long drawn out . We must be getting towards the tipping point when the services will collapse.........who knows when that will be.

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