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R (Pat Morris (on behalf of Health In Trafford)) v Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust [2006] EWHC 2334 (Admin)

The decision of the defendant NHS trust to close two inpatient wards in a hospital that it ran was unlawful as the decision had been reached without any public consultation in breach of s 11 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001.

6 October 2006

The claimant nurse (M) applied for judicial review of a decision of the defendant NHS trust to close two inpatient wards in a hospital it ran. The trust had closed the wards without any public consultation. M contended that the trust's decision was unlawful as it had been made without consultation in breach of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 s 11. The trust contended that the decision to close the wards had been taken urgently on the ground of clinical safety and relied upon an expert's report that indicated that the wards were unsuitable for acute care as there was a risk of an untoward clinical incident occurring and that inpatient services should cease as soon as possible.

HELD: On the evidence the wards were intended to be used for rehabilitative care. They were not expected to be used for patients needing acute care. The expert relied on by the trust was misinformed as to the function of the wards. His recommendation that the wards should be closed was based on a misu...

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