Regina v North Derbyshire Health Authority ex parte Kenneth Graeme Fisher: Admn 11 Jul 1997

The court considered the duty of the authority to take account of guidance issued by the Secretary of State: ‘If the circular provided no more than guidance, albeit in strong terms, then the only duty placed upon health authorities was to take it into account in the discharge of their functions. They would be susceptible to challenge only on Wednesbury principles if they failed to consider the circular, or if they misconstrued or misapplied it whether deliberately or negligently . . . If the circular gave directions, then the health authorities would have an absolute duty to comply. I agree that it is important that the court should be slow to construe a document as a direction in the absence of clear words that that is what it is intended to be. The language of the circular is very far from clearly demonstrating an intention to give directions. It is, of course, important to examine substance rather than form. The substance here is to be found in the language of the circular.’


Dyson J


[1997] EWHC Admin 675, [1997] 38 BMLR 76, (1998) 1 CCLR 150, (1998) 10 Admin LR 27




CitedEC Gransden and Co Ltd and Falkbridge Ltd v Secretary of State for the Environment QBD 1985
If a decision maker intends to depart from any relevant policy, he must give clear reasons for doing so, in order that the person affected should know why the decision was being made as an exception to the policy and the grounds upon which the . .

Cited by:

CitedWatts, Regina (on the Application of) v Bedford Primary Care Trust and others Admn 1-Oct-2003
The claimant sought hip-replacement treatment. She was first told that she would have to wait a year. As her lawyers pressed the respondent, she looked at obtaining treatment in France. As she decided to take the treatment, the respondent reduced . .
CitedGrogan, Regina (on the Application of) v Bexley NHS Care Trust and others Admn 25-Jan-2006
The claimant was elderly and in need of care in a nursing home. She claimed that her care needs had been assessed by an unlawful protocol applied by the health authority. She said that she qualified under the criteria for Continuing Health Care.
CitedRogers, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Health Admn 15-Feb-2006
The claimant suffered breast cancer. She sought treatment from the defendant with a drug called Herceptin, and now sought judicial review of the refusal of such treatment. Various stages in the licensing of the drug were yet to be completed. It was . .
CitedRogers, Regina (on the Application of) v Swindon NHS Primary Care Trust CA 12-Apr-2006
The claimant challenged the policy of her local health authority not to allow prescription to her of the drug Herceptin.
Held: The policy had not been settled upon lawfully and was to be set aside. On the one hand the PCT developed a policy . .
CitedMilner, Regina (on The Application of) v South Central Strategic Health Authority Admn 11-Feb-2011
The claimant sought to challenge the way the defendant had reached its decision to add flouride to the water supply, in having failed to comply with the requirements for consultation.
Held: The claim failed. The Regulations as enacted differed . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 26 May 2022; Ref: scu.137620