Brian Hore Unit could receive stay of execution while case for judicial review surrounding closure is considered

The Brian Hore Unit is currently set to close on March 31 with no plan to continue services elsewhere

16.03.2016

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A hearing to decide if Manchester's Brian Hore Unit (BHU) be given a stay of execution while the case for judicial review surrounding its closure is considered, will be held later this month. 

Expert lawyers applied to the High Court for a judicial review as they seek to prevent Manchester City Council from closing the Brian Hore Unit, a facility in West Didsbury, which offers abstinence-based treatment for people with alcohol and mental health problems.

The unit is due to close on March 31, but those who use the facility were only informed in January.

A hearing will now be held on March 29 at Manchester Civil Justice Centre to decide if an injunction should be granted requiring Manchester City Council to keep the BHU open until the case for judicial review has been considered.

The proposed closure was announced after the award of a contract for a new combined drug and alcohol service in Manchester to Crime Reduction Initiatives (CRI).  Concerns have been raised that the organisation does not intend to continue services at the Brian Hore Unit, or provide the services at an alternative location.

Specialist public law solicitors at Irwin Mitchell have been instructed by one individual who receives treatment at the Brian Hore Unit to investigate the consultation process Manchester City Council undertook before reaching its decision.

Expert Opinion
“We believe the consultation process undertaken by the local council focused on redesigning drug and alcohol services in Manchester and did not indicate changes would result in the closure of the Brian Hore Unit. The users of services at the unit were not consulted at all about the possible closure of the unit.

“We wrote to Manchester City Council in February to outline our concerns with the way the decision to close the unit was taken, as well as outlining our plans to take steps to issue judicial review proceedings to challenge the decision.

“The council replied to our letter, denying that it had acted unlawfully. We have now formally applied to the High Court for that review, citing the council’s failure to consult with service users or provide them with any opportunity to make representations about the closure of the BHU.”
Mathieu Culverhouse, Associate

Seamus Quinn, chairman of the Friends of the Brian Hore Unit, said: “Manchester City Council’s commissioners and CRI appear to have ignored the people who use the service, the crucial role the unit plays in the city and the help and support it provides to individuals struggling with alcohol and mental health problems in the area.

“We believe that closing the Brian Hore Unit will unnecessarily put lives at risk as there is still no clear strategy for the future of the services provided to vulnerable people at the facility.”

The unit was founded by renowned psychiatrist Doctor Brian Hore in 1974 and is one of just a handful of NHS specialist centres dedicated to treating alcohol-dependency in the UK.

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Protecting Your Rights