Public gets behind NHS contract legal challenge
Disgruntled NHS staff have taken to the web in a determined attempt to fund a challenge against the controversial junior doctors contract, and have managed to rally support from 1,800 supporters.
The campaigners are looking for £100,000 to get their case to the courtroom — having raised an initial £25,000 to start the process — and are seeking this money via crowdfunding site CrowdJustice.
The claimants — a group of London-based doctors — explain:
We are challenging the imposition of an unplanned and dangerous contract which will affect patient wellbeing and safety… The NHS is on the brink of collapse and under further attack with this imposition.
Human rights firm Bindmans has confirmed that it will take on the case and represent the claimants.
In response to the legal aid cuts and the general inaccessibility of our courts, CrowdJustice was set up as an online platform for would-be litigants to raise money for their cases. It’s had some pretty impressive success stories in its short life: CrowdJustice saw the law on joint enterprise turned on its head by the Supreme Court after campaign group JENGbA (Joint Enterprise: Not Guilty by Association) managed to drum up support from 252 backers raising over £10,000 to find the costs of its intervention.
But previous successes have been totally eclipsed by the junior doctors campaign. Launched just yesterday, the campaign has raised £64,000 and counting, and has attracted support from over 2,000 backers.
Speaking to CrowdJustice founder and former Linklaters lawyer Julia Salasky, she explained that the most raised in one day was — until yesterday — £20,000. The junior doctors campaign is, she told us:
An extraordinary achievement.
It’s a rare person who hasn’t come into contact with the NHS, and there’s clearly a huge amount of sympathy from the public about the imposition of a new contract.