General Power of Competence

July 10th, 2020 by James Goudie KC

In R (JP) v Croydon CCH & Croydon LBC (2020) EWHC 1470 (Admin) the claimant advanced what Mostyn J, at para 46, described as “an adventurous argument” that GPOC, under Section 1 of the Localism Act 2011 (LA 2011), empowered the local authority (LA) to provide medical care, notwithstanding that this was clearly within the remit of the NHS/CCG. In rejecting this argument found that there was a limitation pre the commencement of LA 2011. The limitation under Section 2(2)(a) expressly applied, by virtue of Section 75 of the National Health Service Act 2006 (NHSA 2006) and the NHS Bodies & LAs Partnership Arrangements Regulations 2000, which clearly delineated the boundaries between the NHS and Las as to what could be provided by whom. GPOC could not be used to usurp decisions reposed in the NHS and NHS bodies. LA 2011 should not, para 48 be construed as “driving a coach and horses through very carefully delineated frontiers of competence and function”.

Section 10(1) of the Children Act 2004 and Section 82 of NHSA 2006 promoted CCG/LA co-operation, but, para 51, these are “macro or target duties” and it is “extremely doubtful” whether they confer a justiciable right on individuals.

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