§ Miss Lestor
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to centralise information on child patients in hospitals as a step towards ensuring that no child will be treated on an adult ward.
§ Mr. Sackville
In the guide, "Welfare of Children and Young People in Hospital"—HMSO 1991—we cited the evidence to show that children are best treated in children's departments and recommended that health authorities and other purchasers should specify this requirement in their contracts for hospital services for children. We expect district health authorities to monitor compliance with their contracts and, in connection with implementation of the recent Audit Commission report "Children First: A Study of Hospital Services", both regional health authorities and the Department will also undertake selective monitoring. We consider that implementation of our policy can be achieved by these means without the introduction of routine arrangements for the central collection of records on where children are accommodated in hospital. Copies of both publications are available in the Library.