§ Mr. David Atkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the criteria that have to be satisfied for a general practice to close a surgery.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
A doctor must obtain the approval of the family practitioner committee or, on appeal, the Secretary of State, to the places where he is available for consultation and to any changes in them. Such approval may not unreasonably be withheld but may be given subject to such conditions as seem necessary to enable the doctor to carry out his obligations under his terms of service. In considering a proposed change we would expect a committee to have regard to the views of patients and the general public.