Green Light For Judicial Review Into Downgrading Of Wythenshawe Hospital

High Court Grants Permission For Challenge To Reduction Of Wythenshawe Hospital Services

11.11.2015

Staff at Wythenshawe Hospital and their supporters from the wider community have been given the green light to launch a legal challenge of the decision to downgrade the hospital and reduce the surgery services it provides.

The campaign group feels that the decision by the Committees In Common in the Healthier Together programme to choose Stepping Hill Hospital as the fourth specialist site in Greater Manchester was unlawful and instructed lawyers to investigate.

Now, specialist public lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who have successfully challenged cuts to services across the country, have been granted permission to proceed with a Judicial Review of the proposals, which is set to take place at Manchester Civil Justice Centre on 9 and 10 December 2015.

Those challenging the decision, the Keep Wythenshawe Special campaign group, have generated significant public support, with more than 1,000 people, including a number of local MPs, taking to the streets of Manchester to protest the decision recently.

Mathieu Culverhouse, a specialist public lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who is representing Keep Wythenshawe Special in their challenge, said:

Expert Opinion
“Concerned members of staff at Wythenshawe Hospital truly believe that the loss of specialist status will have a catastrophic impact on the hospital’s ability to deliver quality care to patients and we are delighted that the decision not to award specialist status to Wythenshawe Hospital will now be reviewed.

"It is vital that decisions of this nature, which affect the health services available to the public of Greater Manchester, are made properly and in accordance with the law and we are determined to ensure that the decision making process is given the appropriate scrutiny by the court."
Mathieu Culverhouse, Associate

Speaking on behalf of Keep Wythenshawe Special, consultant surgeon Andrew Macdonald said: “We are delighted that the court has granted us permission to proceed with the judicial review and we hope that when the evidence is heard the decision not to grant specialist status to Wythenshawe Hospital will be overturned on the grounds it was unlawful.

“We believe the rules were changed following the public consultation and that the decision was made without consideration of all the relevant factors and we hope that we can illustrate this at the judicial review in December.”