HC Deb 22 July 1980 vol 989 c608W
8. Mr. Stan Thorne

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what percentage increase in the use of large general hospitals has been brought about by the closure of smaller hospital units, both generally and in the larger cities.

Dr. Vaughan

This information is not available centrally. However, the provision of new facilities and the closure of old, whether in small hospitals or by re-provision on the same site, are usually planned together rather than having coincidental effects, as the question implied. This Government's policies are aimed at retaining smaller local hospitals wherever they can serve a useful purpose and should thus mean that more people continue to be treated in them than was hitherto planned.