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Families are celebrating after a respite centre that cares for disabled children was saved from closure days before a High Court hearing was due to begin.
Ahead of a planned judicial review, Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (HVCCG) agreed to set aside its decision to withdraw funding from Nascot Lawn in Watford. The High Court was due to review whether health bosses acted illegally in this decision regarding the vital service.
Families who use Nascot Lawn were informed in June that the funding for respite services at the centre would be withdrawn – six months after HVCCG had made the decision.
A petition to keep the centre open gained nearly 15,000 signatures and the issue was discussed in the House of Lords.
The families of children who use the centre asked our Public Law team to argue their case. We began legal proceedings against HVCCG when they refused to reconsider their decision.
One of the clients we represent is Satnam Kaur, whose 14-year-old daughter Gurpreet has a range of complex care needs.
Gurpreet needs medical supervision to manage chronic renal failure, tube feeding and medications. She currently uses the centre for three nights a month for overnight respite. Gurpreet has been using Nascot Lawn since she was one year old.
Satnam said: "We are just so happy that Gurpreet will be able to continue to attend Nascot Lawn and maintain the bond she has built up with the staff there, meaning our family can remain at our best to help care for her."
Emma Turner's 10-year-old daughter Sienna Scott also uses the centre two nights a month.
Emma said: "Hopefully we will now be able to put all this behind us and Sienna can continue to benefit from the amazing care she receives at Nascot Lawn."
Amanda Batten, Chair of the Disabled Children's Partnership, said: "This case highlights the vital role short breaks services play in keeping families with disabled children together. For many they are nothing less than a lifeline. This case should encourage other local authorities and CCGs to think very carefully and consult fully before proposing the closure of similar services."
"The DCP is calling on the Government to review the funding and availability of short breaks services across the country so that disputes like this don't arise in the first place."
Alex Rook, a Partner in our Public Law team, said:
"Our clients have told us first-hand how Nascot Lawn provides excellent care and that the decision to close the centre would have severely affected their lives."
We are delighted that the CCG has seen sense and decided to keep Nascot Lawn open. We look forward to the centre continuing to provide excellent care for our clients and their families who use this vital lifeline."
If you would like to challenge a decision made by your local authority or another public body, our Public Law solicitors can help. Visit our Judicial Review page for more information.
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