Justice for Health: NHS Judicial Review
The secretary of state is threatening us with £150,000 cost protection order.
Emergency Fundraiser! The secretary of state is threatening us with £150,000 cost protection order.
⚖ Fundraising update ⚖
We've paused our page & are not accepting further donations for now. Thank you so much & we'll let you know if we reopen!
We were devastated to hear just 24 hours before our case management hearing, that the Secretary of State (SoS) has now demanded Justice For Health raise a total of £150,000 as security for costs in order to proceed with our case.
This is a staggering amount of money and we feel it is an underhand tactic to silence junior doctors and prevent us from raising our legitimate concerns in holding Mr Hunt to account.
- New demands by the SoS:
Although we will strongly contest this figure in court tomorrow, we must be prepared for an unprecedented demand from Mr Hunt. He had previously demanded £30,000, and is now threatening a figure 5 times that amount!
- Further legal costs:
We were forced to pause our case whilst the latest contract offer was put to a referendum by the BMA in June. This has resulted in increased legal costs as the case has become longer, more complex and we have additional grounds requiring additional legal expertise.
We must therefore continue to fundraise for our legal costs, in addition to the SoS's security demands.
We are confident that our action will show that the SoS does not have power to impose this unplanned and dangerous contract that will affect patient wellbeing and safety.
Urgent help needed:
We now urgently need to raise £170,000 in total to allow us to proceed with our case, making this is an all-or-nothing target.
Without your support we cannot continue to seek justice for the NHS.
- Round 1: legal fees - £125,000 target, £133,741 raised, 4465 backers
- Round 2: cost protection - £33,000 target, £52,086 raised, 1803 backers
Costs so far:
- Legal fees already paid: ~£88,000
- Predicted additional fees to get the case through a full hearing: ~£92,000
- Security deposit: £150,000: this is the figure Mr Hunt and the Government Legal Department have demanded on 20.7.2016.
These figures are our current best estimates. Please bear in mind that they are subject to change due to the unpredictable and fast moving nature of this complex and novel litigation.
About the claimant
We are a group of doctors based in London who between us have over 30 years of experience working in the NHS. We are committed to our patients' well-being and making the NHS the best it can be. We want it to remain safe for generations to come.
Dr Ben White is a 33 year old Medical Registrar.
"I’ll be responsible for looking after you and your family if you arrive via A&E and are very unwell. I have a track record of campaigning for patients, the NHS and its staff. I’m so pleased to be a part of this legal action which gives us the opportunity to invest in a robust process to test the government's plans which I think stand to put patient and staff safety in jeopardy".
Dr Francesca Silman works as a General Practice Registrar.
"I am passionate about providing high quality care to my patients. The NHS has been vital in looking after my family - from cancer, dementia, childbirth and autoimmune disease, numerous members of my family have been well looked after through the world class service the NHS provides. We have to ensure that the NHS works for patients, and not for political will".
Dr Marie McVeigh is specialising in Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
"As a child I lived in a country without a national health service. I grew up seeing the effects of health inequality. From the age of 12 I wanted to be a doctor and I wanted to work in the NHS, where every patient gets the care they need. I believe fundamentally in the principle of equality. I want every patient I treat to be safe in our NHS and every colleague to be supported. I fear this contract is dangerous, it deeply undermines and destabilises the foundations of our NHS.
"Dr Nadia Masood works as an Anaesthetics Registrar.
"I look after some of the sickest patients in the hospital, working hard to get them well again so they can go home to their families. I know how important that is, my dad successfully recovered from urgent open-heart surgery 10 years ago, and my mum has undergone life-saving cancer treatment more recently. Thanks to the NHS they are still with me today".
Dr Amar Mashru is an A&E Doctor in South London.
“I face the frontline consequences of understaffing and underfunding in the NHS every single day as our A&E department wait times get longer and our patients don’t get the care that they need when they need it. The government will never meet these consequences face to face as they increasingly choose to prioritise cost over quality. It is time to call them to account for the choices they make about how we can be looked after when we are brought through the doors of an Emergency Department. When you are at your sickest and most vulnerable my colleagues and I just want to be able to make you feel better.”
The government is imposing a dangerous contract in August 2016.
We are challenging this imposition through an independent judicial process.
If this contract is imposed, staff working conditions in the NHS could become unsafe and harmful to patients.
THE NHS SHOULD:
- Work effectively for patients
- Be safe for patients and those who care for them
- Provide an excellent, world class service
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Please donate
- Send this link to others to donate
- Tweet with a photo using #JustHealth and tag @Justice4Health_ to say that you have donated and support this action
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We have a hearing date
The court has confirmed our JR will be heard on 19th & 20th September.
The venue will be the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London.
This is a public hearing which means you are all welcome to attend the courtroom as well as be present outside.
We look forward to seeing you there!
You've done it! £150,000 in 4 days!
We are so thrilled to write to you today confirming you have helped us reach our emergency fundraising target of £150,000.
Thank you so much for your donations, you have broken our previous records and smashed the August 16th deadline.
We are truly overwhelmed by your support!
We are now in a position where we can to proceed with preparing for our Judicial Review hearing, which will be in September (date to be confirmed by the courts).
As we explained last week, we must now choose between proceeding with our original grounds only or including an extended argument. Thanks to your support, there will be no financial barrier to making this decision and we can focus purely on the best legal advice we can get.
Once we have made our decision we will publish this on our website.
You can read the full ‘Statement of Facts & Grounds’ here: www.justiceforhealth.co.uk.
Thank you once again for your support, without which we could not have gotten this far.
We will continue to keep you updated every step of the way.
Marie, Ben, Amar, Nadia and Fran
We hit our first target!
Great day in court!
We have great news!
Today we have had a good day in the High Court challenging Mr Hunt's position on imposition, the Judge has heard our initial proposals and granted us a full, expedited Judicial Review hearing expected in September. The judge remarked that this is an important case that has merit and needs to be heard in the public interest.
We have also today challenged the SOS’s security for costs demands. As you know, yesterday we received a letter demanding £150,000 within 7 days.
Our legal team have challenged this in court and negotiated a better deal for us.
The judge listened to our requests and has ordered that the amount provided as security for costs will represent the total and final amount that Mr Hunt’s legal team could seek from us if we were to lose our case.
We must provide £70,000 security for costs if we argue only our original public law grounds (£30,000 of which was raised in May)
We must provide £130,000 security for costs if we choose to argue the full case including the proposed new grounds (and we are well on our way to raising this amount!)
We will need to continue to raise funds to cover our legal fees as the case progresses.
NHS Employers presented the court with a bill that they are requesting we pay. The judge listened to their position and decided that this would be addressed at the end of the full case hearing and judgment.
These costs must be produced and held in a secured account by the deadline of August 16th. If we have not raised the necessary funds on that date, the judge will take a decision as to whether or not we are allowed to proceed to the full hearing.
We will be meeting with our lawyers next week to take their advice and make our final decision about which grounds we want to proceed with.
Whichever option we choose to take, we are relieved and grateful to have reached a more reasonable financial agreement today.
We will make our decisions and rationale public as soon as possible, as agreed in court today.
Please continue to support us by sharing our funding link online and helping us get our message out to the public that Junior Doctors will not be silenced when we are raising legitimate concerns about the safety of our patients, our colleagues and the sustainability of the NHS.
We are so grateful, once again, for your support and the speed with which you’ve responded to our emergency funding plea!
Marie, Ben, Amar, Nadia and Fran
First day in court
This morning we will be going to the High Court for the first time.
The case management hearing is normally a straight-forward administrative process, but our case once again is different.
Today we will set out our grounds for the action, which include challenging Mr Hunt's power to impose a contract, challenging the lack of clarity in his statements and actions, as well are addressing our concerns that the SOS for Health may be colluding with NHS bodies to unilaterally implement a contract that was never agreed to - in fact is was emphatically rejected by doctors in a referendum as being unacceptable.
We say that the SOS cannot impose and neither can the other bodies who are currently working to bring this rejected contract in. We want to be granted our full Judicial Review hearing so we can prove this and get a definitive judgement on the matter. That is what today's hearing is for.
Yesterday we received the breathtaking news that we are being asked to raise another £150,000 security for costs - we feel this represents an attempt to silence us and prevent our case from being heard.
Once again we are reaching out to you, our supporters, for help in raising these funds and getting our case to a full hearing. Without your support we cannot continue.
Please help us by sharing our page and fundraising link with friends and colleagues. Email them, facebook them, send out a tweet!
We are forever grateful, we could never do this without your support.
Many many thanks,
Marie, Ben, Amar, Fran and Nadia