§ 58. Mr. Hannam
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many 591W beds have been closed at the Stoke Man-deville Spinal Injuries Center; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Moyle
I understand that no beds have been closed permanently since 1970. There are at present 149 beds staffed and available in the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital compared with the peak of about 188 in 1967. The reduction in numbers has been necessary because suitable nursing staff have not been available in sufficient numbers. My right hon. Friend made it clear in October 1977 that the area health authority may not close beds at the centre without his prior agreement.