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Jeremy Hunt Did Not Have The Power To Make Cuts At Lewisham Hospital

The Health Secretary has been overruled by the appeals court.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt delivers his keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester northern England, October 1, 2013. Toby Melville / Reuters

The Court of Appeals has overruled Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, declaring that he did not have the power to implement cuts at Lewisham Hospital.

In July, High Court judge Mr Justice Silber ruled that Hunt acted outside his powers when he made cuts to Lewisham Hospital’s maternity and emergency units, calling the move “unlawful” and that it would cause locals to “travel a long, long way further to get access to vital services”. The Health Secretary, however, insisted the cuts would somehow improve patient care.

The government had taken to the Court of Appeals on Monday in hopes the judge’s ruling would be overturned.

The government was challenged by the Save Lewisham Hospital initiative, and their supporters were very pleased by the outcome:


SaveLewishamA&E

@SaveLewishamAE

Outside High Court for govt appeal against us. Go Lewisham! #Justice4Lewisham

/ Via

Jon Penner

@MeWombat

Save Lewisham Hospital won appeal ! Judges threw govt appeal out! So much hard work by so many paid off! #saveLewishamAE #SLH #NHS

/ Via

Paul B

@lostmertonian

Oh YES. Superb work, the Save Lewisham campaign. Court of Appeal slaps down Jeremy Hunt: http://t.co/f6EflGZjO6

/ Via

Fabulous news for Lewisham! Well done all involved in the campaign to save the hospital http://t.co/Ld8j4Onmii

— Fiona Twycross (@fionatwycross)

Fiona Twycross

@fionatwycross

Fabulous news for Lewisham! Well done all involved in the campaign to save the hospital http://t.co/Ld8j4Onmii

/ Via

And others were mainly just mad at Jeremy Hunt:

Jeremy Hunt, who claims to champion patient voice, spends tax payers money to defy what patients want. What a weasel. http://t.co/4eDijKP903

— Jacky Davis (@DrJackyDavis)

Jacky Davis

@DrJackyDavis

Jeremy Hunt, who claims to champion patient voice, spends tax payers money to defy what patients want. What a weasel. http://t.co/4eDijKP903

/ Via

Watch now as the government scrambles to implement law to retrospectively make Jeremy Hunt's breaking of the law ok. #Lewisham

— Lee Griffin (@Niaccurshi)

Lee Griffin

@Niaccurshi

Watch now as the government scrambles to implement law to retrospectively make Jeremy Hunt’s breaking of the law ok. #Lewisham

/ Via

Lewisham Hospital: Appeal Court overrules Jeremy Hunt - Tory's making a joke of Justice http://t.co/3fRMyjXixk

— Are We All Asleep ? (@demindblower)

Are We All Asleep ?

@demindblower

Lewisham Hospital: Appeal Court overrules Jeremy Hunt - Tory’s making a joke of Justice http://t.co/3fRMyjXixk

/ Via

Rosa Curling from Save Lewisham Hospital told the BBC:


“This expensive waste of time for the government should serve as a wake up call that they cannot ride roughshod over the needs of the people.

“The decision to dismiss the appeal also reaffirms the need for judicial review, a legal process by which the unlawful decisions of public bodies, including the government, can be challenged by the public.”

Labour’s shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, said this was a “humiliation” for Hunt.

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Cate Sevilla is the UK managing editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
 
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