Yesterday (Thursday 25th January 2018) the NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust held two back to back meetings in Coleford in the Forest of Dean to discuss and decide whether the proposal to close the two community hospitals in the Forest of Dean would go ahead despite the proposal receiving the less than half of the support of the responses to the public consultation.
The meetings begun at 12noon on Thursday despite this time and venue meaning that many people who wanted to attend couldn’t due to work and school. This is just the latest in a series of causes for concern around the adequacy of the entire process.
Zac Arnold, Press Liaison for the HOLD Campaign said “we are very disappointed at the blatant lack of respect that the NHS have showed to the public in ignoring their concerns. Several members of the public asked serious questions regarding various aspects of the consultation at the meeting on Thursday and these questions were met by no satisfactory answers from NHS representatives.”
This decision to continue with the proposals despite the public not backing the decision has been met by an announcement from the HOLD campaign who have stated that a crowd funding page to raise the funds for court and solicitor fees will be set up within the next few days as plans for legal challenge against the NHS are set in motion.
Arnold continued “As announced on our Facebook page yesterday, the HOLD Campaign have are preparing to launch legal action against the NHS in regards to these proposals and we have a line up of very strong legal challenges that the NHS will have to answer to. The fight is not over and we will be launching our crowd funding page to raise the funds for legal action within the next few days.”
Owen Adams, another of the campaign’s organisers stated yesterday on their Facebook page “As feared, the proposal to shut our 2 hospitals was agreed by the NHS/ privatisation overlords. So now our legal fight begins and we have a number of strong legal challenges. We will soon be launching a crowdfunder through a recognised platform, so watch this space!”
Further plans for legal action will be announced as they become available but the action in question has been confirmed as being a Judicial Review. If you would like to donate towards the funds needed to take legal action, a crowd funding page will be set up and connected to the campaign’s Facebook page in the coming days.