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Villagers Win Fight To Save GP Surgery From Closure

Irwin Mitchell’s Public Law and Human Rights lawyers have successfully challenged an NHS England decision to close a Merseyside village surgery.

NHS England initially took the decision to close Hightown Village Surgery after being unable to find a new GP services provider after the previous provider left. NHS England claimed that they couldn’t find anyone to run the surgery. However, local activists in the Hightown Village Surgery working group did just that after contacting the same GP providers again.

Hightown Parish Council contacted us, and our Public Law and Human Right’s department took on the case. We spoke to NHS England and urged them to overturn their decision, or face a Judicial Review in the High Court. Thanks to the lawyers putting pressure on NHS England, a new GP provider was granted to Hightown Village Surgery on a five year contract. This meant that the surgery would continue to run as normal.

Karl Brennan, Chair of Hightown Parish Council, said: “We are thankful to Irwin Mitchell for their hard work and excellent service to the Parish Council, giving balanced and professional advice at every stage of the proposed Judicial Review process.

“This successful campaign shows that communities are not powerless to challenge the NHS over this type of decision and Irwin Mitchell worked tirelessly on our behalf to secure the GP Services our rural community depends upon and needs.”

Mathieu Culverhouse, a public law specialist at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office, said: “We are happy for the Hightown Parish Council and the residents of the village. The fact that the surgery is going to remain open is the main thing in this case.

“The surgery has stood on that ground for over thirty years, providing services to the residents of the village, many of whom rely on the surgery. “We respect and commend the decision taken by NHS England to re-enter talks with GP providers to ensure that a positive outcome was reached.”

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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