Court refuses permission for appeal against stroke judicial review ruling

26 August 2020

The NHS in Kent and Medway was pleased to receive notification from the Court of Appeal yesterday (Tuesday, 25 August) that permission has been refused for an appeal against the judicial review ruling on the stroke services review.

This decision draws a line under the legal process challenging the decision to implement three hyper acute stroke units in Kent and Medway, and brings the NHS closer to being able to make improvements to services that will save lives and reduce disability from stroke.

The judge considering the application for appeal has ruled that there are no permissible grounds for an appeal against the judicial review ruling made in February 2020. The judicial review found entirely in favour of the NHS on all eight of the grounds bought by the claimants.

Speaking about the outcome, Rachel Jones, Executive Director of Strategy and Population Health at NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said “I am extremely pleased about the decision from the Court of Appeal. The original judicial review ruling found emphatically in favour of the NHS and the process we followed. The need to improve stroke services in Kent and Medway is as urgent as ever and this decision brings us closer to being able to move forward with the implementation of evidenced-based hyper acute stroke units, which will in turn reduce death and disability from stroke.”

The Kent and Medway Stroke Programme is still awaiting the decision from the Secretary of State on the referral for an independent review of the process and we hope this can now be expedited so we can implement Hyper Acute and Acute Stroke units to make the much needed improvements to acute stroke services for our population.

Notes for editors

  1. The application for appeal was considered by Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Phillips, in the Court of Appeal, and the decision issued on 25 August 2020.
  2. The judicial review court hearing took place between 3 and 5 December 2019 and the ruling was handed down on 22 February 2020.
  3. The judge in the judicial review hearing denied permission for six of the eight grounds bought because they did not meet the legal requirements for judicial review. The judge did grant permission for a judicial review on the remaining two grounds. After considering the legal arguments the judge dismissed the claims.
  4. The review of urgent stroke services in Kent and Medway began in late 2014. The review process has been led by stroke consultants, stroke nurses and other stroke specialist health professionals.
  5. A public consultation was held between February and April 2018 which set out five options for the location of three hyper acute stroke units across Kent and Medway.
  6. In February 2019 the JCCCG (Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups made up of the eight CCGs in Kent and Medway prior to their merger in April 2020 and two neighbouring CCGs of Bexley and High Weald Lewes and Havens) agreed to proceed with the implementation of hyper acute stroke units at Darent Valley, Maidstone and William Harvey hospitals.

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