A high-profile civil rights firm has defended its work in healthcare law after NHS managers claimed in a national newspaper they are sent ‘aggressive’ legal letters when migrants are refused free treatment.

In an article published by the Daily Mail, NHS managers claimed hospital bosses were so frightened of lawyers, and the threat of costly human rights battles, that they would rather turn a blind eye to abuse of the NHS.

Deighton Pierce Glynn, which has offices in London and Bristol, was named as one of the firms behind the allegedly aggressive letters.

Responding to the article, which it described as a ‘tabloid attack on its work with migrants’, Deighton Pierce Glynn said it ’made no apology’ for providing advice and representation to a wide range of clients, including ‘those reliant on legal aid’ and those ‘unlawfully denied medical treatment due to their immigration status’.

The firm said it was a ‘scandal that in the UK in 2015, people with life-threatening conditions such as cancer or kidney failure are routinely and unlawfully denied healthcare – even though they may die or suffer irreversible damage if they do not receive treatment’.

The firm helped individuals and NHS staff ‘understand the complex rules which require the NHS to provide urgent and immediate necessary treatment’, and did not pursue cases that had ‘no valid legal foundation’, the response stated. Litigation was ‘used always as a last resort’.

The Daily Mail article also carried profiles of the firm’s managing partner Polly Glynn, partner Adam Hundt and Pierce Glynn founding partner Stephen Pierce.

The Gazette has contacted the firm for comment.

Deighton Pierce Glynn was established in May 2012, following the merger of London firms Deighton Guedalla and Pierce Glynn.