Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

UK 200 2014 position: 28

The duty on CCGs following R (Elizabeth Rose) v Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group

In Rose, the Administrative Court considered whether a clinical commissioning group (CCG) had acted unlawfully in failing to follow guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), even though it was under no statutory duty to do so.

The court found that, even in the absence of any statutory duty, CCGs can choose not to follow NICE guidance only where there is some special factor that exceptionally justifies them in doing so. Merely disagreeing with the guidance is not enough.

The claimant, Elizabeth Rose, is a 25-year-old woman who has suffered from a severe form of Crohn’s disease since she was 14. Her condition had deteriorated and her doctors recommended bone marrow transplantation and chemotherapy to hopefully bring the disease into remission. Infertility and the early onset of the menopause are probable outcomes of such treatment…

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