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Contact supports families challenging respite care closure in the High Court

Tuesday 6th February 2018

Contact and the Disabled Children's Partnership today turned out to support families at the High Court, who are challenging the closure of a vital respite centre in Hertfordshire.

Three families were granted the right to a judicial review of the decision to close Nascot Lawn, which provides overnight respite to children with complex health needs.

Amanda Batten, CEO of Contact and Chair of Disabled Children's Partnership, said: "We are pleased that this decision is getting proper scrutiny and families who use the centre and describe it as a lifeline are able to have their concerns heard today in the High Court.

"Families have fought so hard to keep the centre open, and they have been left feeling devastated and fearful for their families' future. It's vital short breaks services like those offered by Nascot Lawn remain a priority for local authorities and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and we support the families challenging this decision."

Law Firm Irwin Mitchell are representing the families at the High Court in a two day case. They will argue that the decision by Herts Valleys CCG to pull funding was unlawful because the health body failed to legally consult with families who will be severely affected by the closure. They will also argue the CCG breached its duty under the National Health Services Act and the Equality Act.

One of the families involved is Satnam, from Bushey, whose daughter has a range of complex needs and has used Nascot Lawn since she was one.

Satnam said: "Since last spring there has been anger, tears and frustration among all the families who rely on Nascot Lawn. Despite putting our argument forward time and time again we have not been listened to.

"It's not just my family who would be devastated if Nascot Lawn closed; all the families who need the centre would be left in turmoil."