Nascot Lawn: Families taking NHS to court over decision to close Watford respite centre

PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:56 12 December 2017

Nascot Lawn. Photo: Danny Loo.

Nascot Lawn. Photo: Danny Loo.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

A group of parents have relaunched a legal challenge to the decision to close Nascot Lawn respite centre.

Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group narrowly avoided a High Court battle earlier this year over their decision to pull £650K from the centre.

The CCG then decided to withdraw the funding anyway.

The families affected by the closure of the centre, which gives short breaks to disabled children, have asked lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to represent them.

Irwin Mitchell wrote to the CCG, stating the decision to pull funding was unlawful under the National Health Services Act and the Equality Act.

The CCG had also failed to lawfully consult with families, according to the law firm.

After the embattled NHS group refused to back down, Irwin Mitchell started preparing for new court proceedings.

Irwin Mitchell’s Alex Rook said: “HVCCG has said it is not required to consult with families, which in our view is unlawful.

“Our clients consider the CCG has also failed to co-operate with the Herts County Council to establish viable options for providing respite care to children who use Nascot Lawn, despite the council’s attempts to get them to do so.

“Even now there is absolutely no clarity regarding what care options are available.

“This has meant the families who rely on the vital services Nascot Lawn provides have not been able to give an informed response to the consultation.

“As throughout this process we believe the CCG has not properly considered its legal duties before reaching a decision which is likely to have a devastating impact on these families.

“We are determined to ensure the families affected by this have their voices heard on the matter.”

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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