§ Mr. Bowden
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what evidence she has that health authorities use age as a criterion for allocating acute patients to different hospitals within their area;
(2) what is her Department's policy on the use by health authorities of age as a criterion by which patients are allocated beds in specific hospitals.
§ Mr. Sackville
Health authorities are responsible for purchasing appropriate services for all age groups in their resident populations. Children and young people in hospital should be provided with accommodation, facilities and staffing appropriate to their age and development. Depending on local circumstances, hospitals may elect to admit people over the age of 75 to specifically designated wards to ensure they receive the most appropriate care.