Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v Newcastle Primary Care Trust & Ors [2012] EWHC 2093 (QB)

In this case Newcastle NHS Hospital NHS Foundation Trust had secured an automatic suspension to contract award having commenced proceedings against the defendants. This judgement concerned the defendants’ application to lift that suspension.

The court held that the balance of convenience lay in favour of lifting the suspension. Key considerations were that there would be a considerable interruption to service delivery if the suspension continued whilst the merits of the claim were considered and that damage were held to be an adequate remedy.

It is unusual (in fact probably unprecedented) for such an action to exist between public bodies. It does, however, suggest (if it was ever seriously in doubt) that the American Cyanamid tests applied to the question of lifting the suspension on contract award in these circumstances do have a natural tendency to favour the need for maintaining or recommending service delivery.

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