HEALTH – COMMUNITY HOSPITALS & NHS DEFICIT – 15 November 2005

Dr Julian Lewis: The Secretary of State has spoken a great deal about value for money. Does she accept that community hospitals are great value for money? Does she agree that the deficit is not the result of the costs of community hospitals? Does she accept that when she boasts in the amendment about a programme of investment in community hospitals, it is hard to square that with the more than 90 community hospitals that are at risk of closure or serious service cuts? Will she confirm that the closure of community hospitals is not a matter of dogma for the Government?

[The Secretary of State for Health (Ms Patricia Hewitt):  As the hon. Gentleman knows, we are strongly in favour of modern community hospitals that bring more services into the community. ... ]

[For Julian's speech in this Debate, click here.]