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Hospital Beds

Volume 21: debated on Tuesday 30 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many hospital beds have been closed in each hospital region from 1 January 1980 to the last date for which figures are available; and how many closures are contemplated for the financial year 1982–83.

[pursuant to his reply, 2 March 1982, c. 129]: Bed closures take place for a variety of reasons, including replacement by new hospital building; developments in medical practice such as increase in day care and shorter length of stay; concentration of facilities to make more effective use of available manpower and financial resources; and population changes. Figures of bed closures alone should not therefore be used as any basis for estimating changes in the level of health care provision in any region.Information on closures is not held centrally in the form requested, but between 1 January 1980 and 31 December 1981 decisions were taken to close permanently hospitals or parts of hospitals which will involve the following number of beds:

Regional Health Authority
AreaNumber of beds
East Anglia60
North West Thames433
North East Thames546
South East Thames244
South West Thames835
South WesternNIL
West Midlands387
North Western159
Not all these closures will yet have taken place.At 31 December 1981, the Department has been notified by area health authorities of proposals to close permanently other hospitals or parts of hospital buildings involving the following number of beds:

Regional Health Authority
AreaNumber of beds
East AngliaNIL
North West Thames47
North East Thames208
South East Thames51
South West ThamesNIL
South Western16
West Midlands67
North WesternNIL
In addition, proposals notified by postgraduate boards of governors involve 53 beds. It is not possible to say when decisions will be taken on these proposals.