New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: As recently as last September, only a tiny handful of the 165 acute mental health adult in-patient beds in Hampshire were vacant, yet the trust concerned proposes to cut those 165 beds to 107, replacing them with something called a hospital at home, or a virtual ward. Given my belief that the statistics on which that decision is based are inconsistent and unreliable, will the Prime Minister support my call for independent experts from the Audit Commission to look at those figures before those beds are closed?

[The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend makes an important point. Of course, we are putting extra resources into the NHS, but there needs to be a clear series of tests – as there is now under our plans – before any facilities are changed or closed. That is about ensuring that there is GP backing for what is proposed, and ensuring that any such changes will improve the health of the area. I will happily look at the issue that my hon. Friend raises, and ensure that the Department of Health engages on it with him.]