The NHS is under increasing pressure to cut costs with over 50% of acute sector trusts in deficit and the Department of Health looking to save an additional £20 billion. This together with the vision expressed in NHS England's Five Year Forward View, and the necessity to adapt services to meet the changing needs of the population, is resulting in trusts increasingly looking to reconfigure their services.
There are substantial organisational risks associated with reconfiguring NHS services. These include the fact that, if challenged, the organisation could be prevented from making the changes deemed necessary for quality and financial reasons, whilst the Court scrutinises its decision making process in order to determine if it had acted unlawfully at any stage. This delay alone could cost an organisation millions of pounds. The amount of management time taken up with dealing with a judicial review should also not be underestimated. In addition, there are obviously reputational risks associated with a successful legal challenge being brought against an organisation.
What we do
With a wealth of experience working with NHS Trusts, CCGs and NHS England to manage budget pressures and adapt to the new health landscape, we are uniquely positioned to advice and assist on service reconfiguration including:
- Review of proposal on the papers followed by a risk assessment of likelihood of legal challenge;
- Meeting with project team to discuss key factors in minimising the risk of a legal challenge;
- Review of proposed consultation process and documents followed by a risk assessment of likelihood of legal challenge;
- Review of proposals specifically in light of legal requirements of the Equalities Act advising on who to minimise risk of legal challenge under this legislation.
Detailed elements of our services
- Meeting project teams following consultation period to advise in relation to the options being put forward to the Board, and the process to be undertaken up to the final decision;
- Reviewing documentation that the Board will base their decision on in order to identify any potential areas of risk for a future challenge, and advising how these can be effectively managed;
- Guidance for Board Members prior to decision being made, including a session with the Board in preparation for making their final decision.