Tyne & Wear

South Tyneside health shake-up challenge 'cost £100k'

Save South Tyneside Hospital protest outside Leeds High Court
Image caption A legal challenge by campaigners was heard in the High Court in Leeds

NHS bosses spent "an inordinate amount of time and money" defending a legal challenge to a health shake-up in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

The Save South Tyneside Hospital group had argued that the consultation into a planned overhaul of stroke, maternity and paediatric care was flawed.

However, the campaigners' case was rejected by the High Court in December.

It has now emerged the battle cost the South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) about £100,000.

At a meeting of the CCG bosses claimed the judge's verdict was an "unambiguous" vindication of their plans but expressed regret at the cost of the challenge, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

'Genuine concerns'

Chief executive Dr David Hambleton said: "We spent an inordinate amount of our time and money having to defend the decision we made.

"We had to pay the barrister at the judicial review and all this probably meant we spent about £100,000 defending that case.

"That was money we could have spent in other ways."

At the same meeting, Roger Nettleship, chairman of the Save South Tyneside Hospital campaign, confirmed it may consider an appeal.

He said: "The judge acknowledged the people of South Tyneside have genuine concerns about the availability of services."

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