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Hospital Closures

Volume 130: debated on Wednesday 30 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make it his policy not to announce any decision regarding proposals for hospital or ward closures during the period when the House of Commons is in the summer adjournment; and if he will make a statement.

Decisions on the closure of hospitals are taken, and announced, as a part of a formal process over many months involving district health authority discussion and, where appropriate, consideration by the regional health authority and Ministers. It would not be conducive to good Health Service planning and the efficient use of resources to delay formal announcements of closures by Ministers by what could be a further three months in some cases.