Pensioners go to court over casualty unit loss - Sunday Telegraph
"The Government is being taken to court by patients furious at the loss of local emergency services.
Pensioners led by Donald Giddings, a 78-year-old heart patient, are challenging the way in which the decision to downgrade health services in the Hertfordshire town of Hemel Hempstead was made.
This week, the High Court in London set a date for a judicial review that will examine claims by the Dacorum Hospital Action Group that the views of the public were misrepresented" during the consultation over the proposed changes.
If successful, the case could lead to dozens of similar claims being made by opponents of government proposals to close dozens of other hospitals across the country.
The group, represented by Matrix, the law chambers of which Cherie Booth, the Prime Minister's wife, is a member, claim that their views were ignored during a consultation led by John Underwood, a former Labour spin doctor hired by West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust last July."
"...thousands of members of the public told the trust that they did not want to lose their casualty department. However, when health chiefs admitted last November that they could not afford to build the new hospital, they said that Hemel Hempstead would still be stripped of most of its services."
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