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Prof Stephen Hawking's NHS campaign group steps closer to taking Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to court

By Ben Comber

Prof Stephen Hawking. Picture: Keith Heppell
Prof Stephen Hawking. Picture: Keith Heppell

Professor Stephen Hawking is among a group of campaigners, named JR4NHS, who have been granted a High Court judicial review against health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The review seeks to challenge Mr Hunt’s proposal to create accountable care organisations (ACOs).

The group said: “We now expect the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jeremy Hunt, not to lay the regulations to facilitate ACOs that he was planning to do in February.”

The group also said it is giving “careful consideration to next steps” after the judge did not cap the costs of the legal proceedings. They have raised £150,000 online to fund the review.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care told the BBC: “The NHS will remain a taxpayer-funded system free at the point of use; ACOs are simply about making care more joined-up between different health and care organisations.

“We believe it is right that local NHS leaders and clinicians have the autonomy to decide the best solutions to improve care for the patients they know best – and any significant local changes are always subject to public consultation and due legal process.”


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