Campaigners granted permission to challenge the NHS’ plans to implement Accountable Care Organisations (ACO)
Opponents to the NHS’ plans to implement ACOs have been granted permission to proceed with a High Court challenge after leave for judicial review was granted by a judge.
ACOs are intended to bring together NHS groups with local authorities in order to reduce the ‘purchaser-provider split’ where national commissioners pay the local providers, such as hospitals, for the patient care provided.
However, campaigners which include Prof. Stephen Hawking, are concerned that the intended ACO system will open up the bidding for NHS contracts to private organisations, therefore leading to the privatisation of the NHS and undermining the foundations the NHS was built on.
The judicial review will allow both sides to present their arguments, however, the judge did not set a cap on legal costs.