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A&E: Dorset

Volume 598: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2015

11. Whether his Department has discussed with the Dorset clinical commissioning group the provision of accident and emergency services in Dorset; and if he will make a statement. (900786)

I understand that Dorset CCG is reviewing the provision of healthcare across the county under its clinical services review, and that includes emergency services. Obviously, any changes to services must be clinically led, in the best interests of patients and, certainly for acute services, in line with the principles of the Keogh review.

In that case, will my hon. Friend assure me that the Government do not support the CCG’s bizarre proposal to close 450 beds at the Royal Bournemouth hospital and force 40,000 in-patients each year to go to Poole general hospital?

I understand that the process is not even halfway through—the CCG’s plans are about to enter the consultation phase—and I would expect my hon. Friend, along with other Dorset MPs, to be engaged with that. I would be disappointed if they felt that they had not been so engaged. However, the House might be interested to know about just one of the proposed improvements. There is currently no 24/7 consultant cover anywhere in Dorset, and the proposed improvement plan aims to correct that.