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High Court declares unpublished NHS debt detention policy to be unlawful


The High Court has handed down judgment allowing a claim for judicial review challenging the Home Office’s policy to stop and detain all passengers owing debts to the NHS when seeking entry at the border.

The policy – which was unpublished – incorrectly informed to Border Force officers that NHS debt may be a basis for cancelling leave to enter or remain.  It also indicated that it was lawful to detain individuals to obtain their details and pass them on to the NHS.  The policy was withdrawn shortly before the hearing.

Mr Justice Chamberlain held that the Home Secretary had also breached her duty to consider the impact of the policy on the groups protected under the Equality Act 2010, including women, who are known to be disproportionately impacted by NHS charging. Nicholas Chapman, leading Richard Evans, represented the Home Secretary.


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Nicholas Chapman

Call 2001

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