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NHS: Reorganisation

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make it his policy that all consultations on NHS service reconfiguration will contain as one option the retention of services in their existing configuration; (157006)

(2) what research his Department has conducted into the impact of relocation or closure of hospital services on patient access to healthcare facilities in areas with disproportionately high numbers of elderly residents;

(3) whether his Department has undertaken an assessment of the impact on local economies of closing district general hospitals.

The Department of Health has not undertaken specific research into the relocation of local health care services.

Proposals for the reconfiguration of services are a matter for the national health service locally, working in conjunction with clinicians, patients and other stakeholders.

The recently published interim report on the NHS Next Stage Review makes it clear that no major service change should happen except on the basis of need and sound clinical evidence.