Send us news by text, start your message Globe News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Unanimous vote to go for judicial review of Wirral vascular services move
A UNANIMOUS vote by Wirral TUC has agreed to seek a judicial review into a controversial shake-up at Arrowe Park Hospital.
NHS Wirral stirred a hornets’ nest after its board voted to move the centre for vascular services from Arrowe Park to the Countess of Chester Hospital.
The scheme had been mired in controversy since it was announced last July with Wirral councillors and MPs voicing their opposition.
Now opposition to the move is gathering steam – as well as a legal review, an online petition and demonstration march to the hospital gates are all being lined up.
Merseyside TUC president Alec McFadden said the unanimous vote was taken on Thursday night. Already a top barrister and a firm of solicitors have been approached and they will soon start working on the necessary legal procedures.
Mr McFadden said: “This is the second time in four years Wirral TUC has been mobilised to such an extent. Last time was when the council tried to close 13 libraries, and the protests ensured not a single one closed.
“This time the issue is obviously even more important and we are talking about life and death decisions.
“The TUC campaign team is moving into gear and with the support of local residents, our MPs, our councillors and the publicity of the Wirral Globe we will stop vascular services being moved away from Arrowe Park.”
The march against the transfer will be held in early-September; the online petition will be launched towards the end of next week.
Last week council leader Cllr Phil Davies revealed to the Globe he is to ask Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to intervene.
Councillor Davies said he considered uprooting the “already excellent” vascular services centre from Arrowe Park to the Countess of Chester to be “perverse.”
One of the grounds for seeking a judicial review is if the court believes a public authority’s decision has been irrational.
The legal procedure requires a judge to question whether the decision "makes sense".
But Martin McEwan, director of communications and engagement at NHS Wirral, said: “A judicial review would not be something we would support because anything that could put further delay on the process of delivering improved services and a specialist centre to patients would not be welcomed.
“Also, anything that could be an additional drain on the public purse is not welcome.
"A judicial review seems fairly premature given the proposed referral to the Secretary of State.”
Among the region’s changes are the North Merseyside centre for vascular services will be housed at the Royal Liverpool Hospital from September, while the South Merseyside hub – which includes Wirral – will be at Chester from next April.
NHS Wirral says it is expected the shake-up will improve services to patients.