On 22 January 2021 Bindmans LLP issued urgent judicial review proceedings against Matt Hancock, seeking increased priority access to the Covid-19 vaccine for all adults with learning disabilities. A response has now been received from the Secretary of State. The government has not conceded the claim, or accepted that the Claimant’s arguments have force. They do not accept that priority access to the vaccine should be granted to all adults with learning disabilities, or to those living in care settings other than care homes for older adults.
The Claimants have filed a response, arguing that insufficient weight was given to the Public Health England report of 12 November 2020, which found that people with learning disabilities were between three and six times more likely to die from Covid-19 than the general population.
The next stage in the proceedings will be for the Administrative Court to make a decision on the papers on the Claimants’ application for permission and expedition of the claim. If these are granted, the Claimants have requested that the final hearing be listed in early March 2021.
The issues raised in this judicial review remain of extreme importance for all adults with learning disabilities in the UK. On 2 February the charity Mencap reported that 80% of the deaths of individuals with learning disabilities during the week ending 22 January were related to Covid-19. Organisations supporting those with learning disabilities are urging the Secretary of State to reconsider his position as a matter of urgency.
This update follows urgent proceedings issued by Bindmans in January 2021. Find out more here.