To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the future of accident and emergency services in Gloucestershire. 
The future pattern of accident and emergency services in Gloucestershire is a matter for Gloucestershire Health Authority. The health authority is currently undertaking public consultation on "Health Gloucestershire: A five year strategy for health and health services"; the strategy does not propose any changes to the current pattern of accident and emergency services in the health authority area at this stage.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department has issued on the average size of population in the catchment area of a general hospital needed to sustain a full accident and emergency service. 
Health authorities and National Health Service trusts should provide an accident and emergency service which meets the needs of local people. The size of the population served by accident and emergency departments will therefore vary according to local circumstances.There is evidence that seriously ill and injured patients do better in larger departments where a high proportion of care is offered by consultant staff, with access to backup from a range of specialist departments. In May 1995 the Department of Health published the
"Review of Literature on Accident and Emergency Departments and Clinical Outcomes copies of which have been placed in the Library."