Derek J. Cole M.A.(Law), LL.B. (Jesus College, Cambridge)
9 Anglesea Terrace
St Leonards on Sea
TN38 0QS
14th March 2003

Nicholas Relph Esq, Chief Executive,
Thames Valley H.A.
5510 John Smith Drive,
Cowley, OXFORD OX4 2LH

Dear Mr Relph,

As the advocate for various complainants in the TVHA area, I re-iterate the submissions they are making to certain PCTs across the area.

QUOTE This is an official request under the complaints procedure in connection with my existing complaint. I hereby further complain that the criteria associated with the scheme for assessing 'Free Continuing Care' in TVHA Board paper 15/03 are flagrantly and catastrophically unlawful and in open defiance of the Court of Appeal in the Coughlan Case. Further, they have NOT been accepted, and will not be accepted, by my elected representatives controlling Social Services, although that is required by NHS Regulations. It follows that I do not accept the procedures laid down in 15/03 and insist on going to the standard stage two of the complaints procedure, 'Independent Review', as laid down in NHS Regulations, and 'adapted' as required by the Court of Appeal in R (Cowl) v Plymouth City Council 14th Dec, 2001. Unless this process is under way by Easter, I shall complain to the Ombudsman.


I have never in all my days seen any document so spectacularly disgraceful as your Board Document 03/15 and the criteria it implements. They are flagrantly and catastrophically unlawful. The only lawful criteria are those set out by the Court of Appeal, - 'needs are primarily Health Needs' and/or 'disabilities'.

The only slight mitigation you have is the Ministry circulars we discussed in our previous correspondence. The assertion that the original circular of 1995 is 'lawful', an assertion which no honest person could conceivably make, is a deliberately falsehood by the Secretary of State, Alan Milburn, made with the cynical intention corruptly to defraud in defiance of the law the most infirm and vulnerable members of society of almost all their assets.

If any of my complainants are denied justice by the implementation of 03/15, we shall sue members of your board personally as individuals for exemplary and punitive damages for misfeasance in public office. If any Doctor on any review panel bases his decision on any criteria so palpably unlawful, we shall complain to the General Medical Council.

One difference between us is that you say you rely on Bevan Ashford whereas I rely on the Lord Justices of the Court of Appeal. It is a clear sign of weakness that you should put your Solicitors in the firing line like this. Lawyers are used to getting things wrong. Obviously, in the vast list of decided cases, there are an equal number of winning and losing solicitors and barristers. Even judges have a detailed appeal system in which they over-rule colleagues with great gusto. Lawyers are almost unique among the professions in being often told they are wrong. There is no disgrace in that.

However, as you (and other authorities) choose to put up Bevan Ashford as an 'Aunt Sally', it would seem discourteous not to rise to the challenge and send them flying. I therefore enclose my 'opinion' on the subject and draw your particular attention to the following.

In the study of logic, argument 'from authority' is a recognized fallacy and is seen as an indication of a weak position.

On behalf of my complainants, I shall be pursuing the procedure under the Regulations through to the Ombudsman as quickly as possible.

Derek J.Cole