High Court grants permission to appeal decision over trans waiting times

Catherine Muxworthy February 22, 2023

Birmingham Pride’s Eva Echo has revealed that following the high court ruling in a case regarding NHS waiting times for transgender patients, an application to appeal the judgement has now been given permission.

The NHS has a statutory requirement that at least 92% of patients should be referred to a specialist within 18 weeks, and claimants in this case argued that NHS England breaks the law when they fail to meet this target for transgender patients. Last month, a judgement was handed down in which the High Court judge found that this ‘target’ duty was not a ‘legal’ duty; meaning that individuals could not enforce it as a right. Eva Echo announced the intent to appeal this ruling; an appeal that has now been granted permission.

Of the appeal, the judge, Mr Justice Chamberlain, stated, “There is a real prospect that the Court of Appeal might differ from the reasoning at [91]-[99] of my judgement. In any event, the point is of sufficient general importance to justifying consideration by the Court of Appeal.”

In social media posts, sharing the news, Eva Echo explained: “The High Court has granted us permission to appeal the decision over NHS England 18-week referral to treatment (RTT) target.

“It is incredibly rare for a High Court Judge to grant permission to appeal their own judgement… which shows just how important this case is. If successful, it could even set a precedent for excessive waiting times in other area of healthcare.”

To support with the Court of Appeal case, a crowdfunder has also been set up so that those in the position to do so can help cover the legal costs.