Bolton CAB had a client, a woman of pension age, who received NHS continuing care. She was not receiving the number of incontinence pads she required and when Bolton CAB raised this with the Trust, they tried to justify their position by reference to their policy. NHS good practice guidance states that care should be based on individual need.
The CAB requested a Judicial Review, on the grounds that Trust had fettered its discretion by applying a rigid blanket policy which didn’t take into account the individual needs of its patients.
By issuing these proceedings, the bureau succeeded in:
- Securing the agreement of the Trust to change its policy to make clear that allocation should be based on need alone.
- With research from other Citizens Advice Bureau’s for the Judicial Review Bolton CAB established that non-compliance with NHS guidance was more widespread. Nine more cases of refusals by PCTs to allocate care on the basis of individual need were established.
- Ensuring that other PCTs review this policy and allocate care on the basis of need.
- Bolton CAB’s actions forced the PCT to comply with public law principles. There were also strong arguments under article 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998 relating to dignity which were not used because the public law arguments proved sufficient.