HEALTH – CLOSURE OF MENTAL HEALTH BEDS IN HAMPSHIRE – 17 July 2012

Dr Julian Lewis: Ministers may recall the concern of patients and carers in the New Forest area about the decision to close a third of acute adult mental health beds in Hampshire. Are Ministers aware of a similar trend in other parts of the country, and if they are, as they should be, what do they think about it?

[The Minister of State, Department of Health (Mr Simon Burns): My hon. Friend has raised that issue in different forms on many occasions, and feels strongly about it. The decision to reconfigure services in his constituency was made locally, and the Hampshire overview and scrutiny committee decided not to write to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State asking him to refer it to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, because it presumably believes that it is the right way forward to continue to provide first-class quality care for patients.]