EXCLUSIVE: Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was taken to the High Court over his decision to downgrade Lewisham Hospital. The judge ruled that his actions were illegal. Vindicated CCG chair Dr Helen Tattersfield says the High Court's decision to overturn changes to Lewisham Hospital will motivate others to "get on with integration".
It seems to me that the other CCGs were not affected by the decision so they didn’t complain. We were the only ones – so we were outnumbered.
This decision should give people a lot of confidence that the new commissioning system is good – it is fit for purpose. In the PCT days there is absolutely no way that a group of GPs, patients and commissioners would have had that power but the fact that we now do is absolutely amazing… It should cheer everything up a bit.
However, dealing with the decision to downgrade and the fight back against it has been a huge distraction. It’s taken our attention away – when we should have planning forward we were tied up in endless meetings. But now at Lewisham CCG we will have more confidence to plan services the way they should be, instead of being told at a distance. It’s true that the merger between Lewisham Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital will go ahead – that’s fine. We just have to work out what service needs to be where so that we can provide good quality services for everyone.
This will help motivate people on the CCGs in the area to get on with integration – we’re going to build things together.
In our CCG we’re aiming to get all of the local social services, voluntary, general practice all working together so that we’ll have everything linked. If you go into a house where there’s one person who needs help, when you go back to the practice there is one telephone number which points you to the best person to help.
But it’s still a work in progress.