HC Deb 06 December 1979 vol 975 cc307-8W
Mr. Newens

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will intervene to prevent the closure of hospital beds in the Harlow health district in view of the deterioration in the service which will be the consequence of proposals now being implemented.

Dr. Vaughan

I assume the hon. Member is referring to the temporary measures adopted by the Essex area health authority to keep within its cash limit this year. As my right hon. Friends made clear in the debate on public services on 17 July—[Vol. 970, c. 1435]—it is not for Minister to tell the health authorities where and how to make their saving, but, as responsible authorities, it is up to them to look at their priorities carefully and make saving where they do least harm to patient care.