§ Mr. Dobson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services on what criteria he based his conclusion that the Bloomsbury health district has a surplus of acute beds.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
[pursuant to his reply, 16 May 1985, c. 226]: In 1979 the London health planning consortium advised of the need fora major shift in the balance of services within the Thames Regionsand in particular for a significant reduction in the number of acute beds in London's hospitals. Changes in population, medical advances and improvements in the efficiency with which hospital facilities were used were cited as the main reasons for arriving at this conclusion, together with the need to release resources to improve services for elderly, mentally ill and mentally handicapped people in London and elsewhere. These findings were confirmed in 1980 by the London Advisory Group which considered thatthe order of change identified by the London Health Planning Consortium is broadly correct ie a reduction of 15 per cent. in the total number of acute beds in London between 1979 and 1988".Between 1979 and 1983 (the latest year for which we have information) the number of acute beds in London has reduced by just under 10 per cent. It is for the district and regional health authorities to determine the precise level of services in each district within this overall framework.