HC Deb 19 July 1977 vol 935 cc1358-9
4. Mr. Goodhart

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans there are to reduce Health Service facilities for those living in the Bromley Health Authority Area.

The Minister of State, Department of Heath and Social Security (Mr. Roland Moyle)

There are no firm plans to reduce facilities. The Bromley Area Health Authority is examining the feasibility of rationalising maternity and children's services in order to free resources, mainly to improve community and psychiatric services.

Mr. Goodhart

I appreciate that there is a surplus of maternity beds in the area. Will the Minister bear in mind that the suggestion that the Beckenham Maternity Hospital might be closed would bear particularly hard on the residents of Penge and Anerley who have less private transport than most residents in the area and that public transport facilities for getting to other hospitals are grossly inadequate?

Mr. Moyle

If the community health council makes those points, I am sure that the Bromley Area Health Authority will listen to them. If there is still a dispute about the future of the hospital, ultimately the decision will come before my right hon. Friend or myself and at that stage I should be prepared to see the community health council. At this stage I should not want to comment on the merits of the scheme.

Dr. Vaughan

We appreciate the problems that the Minister is creating in the Bromley area. Will he tell us what advice he has given to the Bromley Area Health Authority for dealing with cases such as that of Mrs. Ward?

Mr. Moyle

I should like notice of Mrs. Ward's case. I am not creating any problems in the Bromley area. I have had no contact with the Bromley Area Health Authority. I do not see how I can be accused of creating problems in that area.