Herts council announces it won’t refer Nascot Lawn case to Secretary of State
Wednesday 4th July 2018
In May we told you about Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), who voted to close the Nascot Lawn centre for severely disabled children.
This was despite a high profile campaign led by local families and a High Court ruling in February that made it clear that the CCG's decision to withdraw funding was unlawful. The High Court also said that the CCG and local authority must work together to continue providing this type of health service to disabled children and their families in the area.
At the time we called for Herts County Council to refer this situation to the Secretary of State for Health as a matter of urgency - an option open to the council under local authority regulations - but yesterday the council decided that it would not be taking this course of action after all.
Reacting to the news, Una Summerson, head of campaigns at Contact said:
"Contact, alongside the families who have fought so hard to keep Nascot Lawn open, are utterly baffled by the county council's decision to not take more decisive action over the CCG's decision to withdraw funding for the centre and refer the matter to the Secretary of State for a final decision.
"The CCG's decision to stop funding Nascot Lawn needn't have been the end of the matter if the council considered that this would not be in the interests of the local health service.
"It seems self-evident to us - and to parents - that closing Nascot Lawn is not in the interests of the health service in Hertfordshire, given the impact it will have on children with complex health needs and their families. The council have missed a real opportunity to stop the closure of a much-valued facility that helps local families with some of the most severely disabled children get a short break from caring.
"It's also a false economy because keeping Nascot Lawn open could have also saved the council and the state money in the long run. If families with disabled children don't get the support they need they are more likely to reach crisis point -at far more cost to the council and state than the cost of keeping Nascot Lawn open."