London

Chase Farm Hospital: Enfield Council judicial review bid fails

A north London council has failed to get a judicial review of the decision to close a hospital's accident and emergency (A&E) unit.

Enfield Council had argued in the High Court that the closure at Chase Farm Hospital was unlawful and a "grave breach" of residents' expectations.

Mr Justice Bean ruled the council had "no arguable case for judicial review".

The hospital said the A&E unit would close on 9 December while the maternity unit would close this month.

"Enfield Council is bitterly disappointed that it has been unable to overturn this flawed and shameful decision through the legal process," council leader Doug Taylor said.

'Steamrollered through'

"We do not believe the views of residents have been heeded or their concerns addressed.

"Instead the secretary of state and the NHS have reneged on promises to improve primary care and then shamefully steamrollered through their plans."

But Dr Nick Losseff, medical director for Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Clinical Strategy, welcomed the decision.

"Clearly we are pleased that the court has ruled that we can proceed with these moves to A&E services" he said.

"The NHS has been carefully planning these changes to provide better, safer care for local residents in Barnet, Enfield and Haringey for many years."

The services at Chase Farm Hospital will move to Barnet and North Middlesex hospitals, the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said.

Delivering the ruling, the judge said: "Enfield has fought the good fight to save the A&E department at Chase Farm from closure for several years, and I appreciate the council genuinely believes that it would be in the interests of those they represent for the department to remain open.

"But in legal terms that fight has reached the end of the road. I have come to the conclusion that the council has no arguable case for judicial review."

Former health secretary Andrew Lansley approved the plans as part of a move to reorganise hospital services but health campaigners, GPs and the council have opposed the move for the past six years.

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