Health Policy

10.12.18

High Court rejects ‘hostile environment’ policy challenge from Windrush man who was refused cancer treatment

A member of the Windrush generation who was refused cancer treatment has lost a legal challenge against NHS regulations that make people who cannot prove British residency pay for treatment.

A High Court judge has refused the attempt to bring a judicial review of the controversial NHS regulations which has seen hundreds of patients denied treatment for serious health problems.

The 2017 NHS regulations force people who cannot prove UK residency to pay for treatment in advance, and Mr Justice Lewis said the government was not legally requited to hold a public consultation before bringing in the rules or to keep records on people who could be charged.

He ruled that the government had complied with equality laws and the National Health Service Act 2006, and therefore refused a judicial review into the “hostile environment” policy.

A 58-year-old man identified as ‘MP’ first came to the UK from St Lucia with his family when he was 14.

In 2015, he was refused leave to remain in the UK at around the same time he was diagnosed with a form of incurable blood cancer, the High Court was told at a hearing in July.

He was told he would have to pay thousands of pounds for courses of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, and when he was unable to pay the sum upfront he was refused treatment.

The treatment was only resumed when his lawyers contacted the London hospital trust where he was a patient.

Sitting in at the High Court in London, Justice Lewis said in his judgement: “The defendant was not required to consult publicly before amending the relevant regulations and imposing a requirement that advance payment for treatment be made or requiring that records be kept of chargeable individuals … The claim for judicial review of the 2017 regulations is therefore dismissed.”

Another Windrush member made headlines earlier in the year when he was denied cancer care, although he was eventually given a date to start radiotherapy after a public outcry.

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