Automatic suspension to be maintained until trial – Michael Bowsher QC and Ligia Osepciu, representing Central Surrey Health, win first stage in procurement challenge

19 Oct 2018 | by Monckton Chambers

Social enterprise company Central Surrey Health (CSH) has won the first stage in a public procurement challenge against clinical commissioning group, NHS Surrey Downs CCG.   The case centred on whether the commissioners could continue with a contract CSH had originally been part of, but from which they claim they were subsequently “marginalised”.

In yesterday’s High Court ruling the judge decided that automatic suspension was to be maintained until trial. This means that NHS Surrey Downs CCG cannot continue with the contract award for the adult community health services to the IDEEA Partners. The newly awarded contract had been due to start this month but in light of the legal action the CCG extended incumbent provider CSH’s contract until February 2019.

It was successfully argued that if the defendant had breached the principles of transparency and equal treatment, damages would not be an adequate remedy for the claimant and the balance of convenience favoured maintaining the suspension, resulting in automatic suspension being maintained until trial.

Michael Bowsher QC and Ligia Osepciu are representing Central Surrey Health.