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CCG settles over poor public engagement legal challenge

A CCG has made an out-of-court settlement with a patient campaign group and amended its constitution following allegations it failed to adequately consult patients in its procurement decisions.

The Protect Our NHS campaign organisation launched legal proceedings against NHS Bristol CCG last month alleging that the CCG wasn’t adequately consulting the public before decommissioning services.The case would have been the first of its kind to be heard in court.

The CCG rejected the claims but has agreed to amend its constitution and alter its procurement policy to make clear its public engagement arrangements. It said it did not wish to incur further legal costs by ‘continuing to debate technical points’ and agreed to pay 80% of the claimant’s legal costs.

A spokesperson for Bristol CCG said: ‘The matter has not been decided by a court and no finding of unlawful behaviour by the CCG has been made.’

‘To bring the matter to a speedy conclusion, Bristol CCG has offered to pay some of the legal costs incurred by Protect our NHS who have agreed to drop their legal challenge in full.’

Protect Our NHS treasurer Steve Timmins said ‘it was no longer necessary to go to court’ because the CCG had agreed to revise their policies.