§ Mrs. Dunwoody
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cottage hospitals have been closed in England in the last five years; and what provisions are made for the closure of these units and the disposal of hospital buildings and property.
§ Mr. Dorrell
Information is not held centrally in the form requested. The available information on acute, mainly acute and partly acute hospitals with fewer than 50 beds is given in the table.
National Health Service acute, mainly acute and partly acute hospitals with less than 50 beds, England Year Number 1985 255 1986 246 1987–88 1n/a 1988–89 232 1989–90 221 1 In 1987–88 the method of collecting statistics changed. The detailed analysis to provide these figures was not possible because of problems with data quality of some site-level returns.
Cottage hospitals are subject to the same rules for consultation on closure as other hospitals. A copy of a guidance booklet, "Consultation and Involving the Consumer", giving advice on this was issued last year, and a copy has been placed in the Library.
The disposal of hospital buildings and property is a matter for health authorities.