§ Mr. Rooker
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the proposed closure of Romsley Hill hospital, West Midlands, showing how the needs of the population in the Birmingham west district will be met following the closure.
§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin
I recently concluded that I should not set aside the decision of the previous Administration approving the proposed closure of Romsley Hill hospital. In arriving at this decision I took account of the wish of the Birmingham area health authority (teaching) to realise substantial financial savings and of its view that adequate facilities of a comparable standard were already being provided at Dudley Road hospital, to which the patients now at Romsley Hill will be transferred. The timing of the closure and the precise way638W in which the future needs of the population are met is, of course, a matter for the area health authority (teaching). But I have pointed out to the authority that, in effecting the closure, it is important to ensure that the interests of existing patients, others in need of geriatric care and the staff, are carefully considered.