To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on the basis of the latest available information in Wales, what proportion of patients currently treated in community hospitals would have to be treated in general hospitals in the event of community hospital beds not being available; and if he will fund a study into this matter similar to that undertaken by Kenrick and Davies and published in 1976.
During the financial year 1988–89 approximately 11 per cent. of in-patient cases in Wales were treated in community hospitals (hospitals other than teaching, acute 1 and 2, mental illness, mental handicap and speciality hospitals). Their treatment in the event of community hospital beds not being available would be an operational matter for the district health authority concerned on which it is not possible to speculate. A review of the role of community hospitals in Wales was undertaken in 1989 by a working party of the Welsh Medical Committee. Its findings are expected to be presented to my right hon. Friend in the near future. No further studies are intended.