Bartlet High Court bid refused

CAMPAIGNERS have been told they will not be able to take their case to save a hospital from closure to the High Court, it emerged today.

DEVASTATED campaigners have been told they will not be able to take their case to save a hospital from closure to the High Court, it emerged today.

Bartlet Care, which wants to take over the running of Felixstowe's Bartlet Hospital from Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT), had asked for a judicial review of the decision to close it.

The High Court refused permission for the review because Bartlet Care's challenge against the Department of Health decision to shut the convalescent unit was too late.

The Bartlet is currently

serving as Felixstowe General Hospital while that hospital is being refurbished. When the General re-opens earlier next year the Bartlet will close.

The Honourable Mrs Justice Dobbs said: “This challenge is almost one year out of time - there is no reasonable objective excuse for the late application.

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“Given the delay, the public interest would not be served by further delay in light of the limited substance in the challenge.”

Mrs Justice Dobbs ordered Bartlet Care to pay towards the costs of the defendant, the secretary of state for health, and the costs of Suffolk PCT.

Carole Taylor-Brown, chief executive of the PCT, said: “We acknowledge the outcome of the judicial ruling and will continue our work with the community to further develop the health services for Felixstowe and the district. We will additionally pursue our stated commitment of preserving the heritage on the Bartlet site.

“I am very pleased with the outcome, it will enable us to progress our plans which is good news for clinical services in Felixstowe.

“The £1.76million refurbishment of the hospital, which will be the centre of healthcare provision for people in the town and its surrounding areas, is going very well.

“The Bartlet has provided a sterling temporary service in difficult circumstances to allow this to happen.”

Barry Farr, vice-chairman of Bartlet Care, said: “We were extremely disappointed with the decision. We did know that it would be an uphill struggle because we picked it up out of time. Unfortunately the judge decided we didn't have a reasonable excuse so she has slammed the court door in our faces."

n Do you think the Bartlet should be saved? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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