asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received, and from whom, with regard to the proposed closure of the accident and emergency unit at St. Mark's hospital, Maidenhead; what response he has made; how many persons are in the area currently served by the unit; what estimates have been made of the net savings arising from the closure; and if he will make a statement.
The East Berkshire health authority is currently consulting the local community health council on its proposals for the future of St. Mark's hospital accident and emergency department. Ministers have received representations against the district health authority's proposals from eight members of the public, the Windsor and Maidenhead district association of local councils and the Royal borough of Windsor and Maidenhead; and their comments have been passed to the health authority for consideration as part of the consultation exercise. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the proposal whilst local consultations are still under way.I have asked the chairman of the East Berkshire health authority to provide my hon. Friend with the detailed information he requested.