Union loses court battle against Lansley

By Ian Dunt

Unison’s attempt to challenge Andrew Lansley’s NHS reforms in court hit a brick wall today after its judicial review failed.

Unison argued that the failure to properly consult on the reforms breached the partnership agreement between the Department of Health (DoH), the NHS constitution and section 242 of the NHS Act.

While accepting that the union had behaved properly in seeking a judicial review, Judge Mitting ruled that the court could not place a legal demand on the government to consult over its plans.

Karen Jennings, Unison’s head of health, said: “Today’s decision is disappointing, but the fight for the future of our NHS won’t stop at the door to the court.

“Taking the judicial review has successfully galvanised support from other health bodies, patient groups, charities, academics and the public.

“We will be mobilising that support and making MPs acutely aware of the local and national opposition that their plans for the NHS have generated.”

The NHS white paper was not mentioned in the Tory or Lib Dem manifesto and it did not appear in the coalition agreement.