To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) when he will make a decision about the Sheppey general hospital;(2) what has been the context of representations received about Sheppey general hospital.
Medway health authority has made proposals for changes in the pattern of health care provision in Swale for the next five years, involving seven hospitals in the district, including services at Sheppey general hospital. Following formal objection by the Medway community health council, the proposals have recently been referred to Ministers for decision and we are giving them careful consideration. In the meantime Medway health authority found it necessary to close the in-patient obstetric and gynaecology beds at Sheppey general hospital on an urgent temporary basis from 1 August, because of continuing staffing difficulties. The final decision on the future services will however be considered as part of the Swale proposals. Representations have been received from hon. Members and members of the public about both the Swale proposals and the closure of beds at Sheppey general hospital.