HC Deb 08 June 1995 vol 261 cc307-8W
Mrs. Beckett

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will list all the neurosurgical units in Sussex and those in neighbouring counties with their distance in miles from the Sussex border; [27095]

(2) what guidelines she has issued about the maximum distance any patient should be from a neurosurgical unit; [27096]

(3) what is the total number of neurosurgical units in Sussex; what is the number of health authorities; and if she will list the health authorities that do not have a neurosurgical unit within their boundaries. [27097]

Mr. Sackville

The Department has not issued guidelines about the siting of neurosurgical units, but a recently published report from the neuroscience review group of South Thames Commissioners concluded that specialist neurosurgical services should be centralised in major units which can attract a minimum of 2,000 patients per year, to allow the development and maintenance of expertise in the management of these less common surgical problems. The review group identified St. George's hospital, Tooting, as meeting this standard. The recommendations are currently being considered by the South Thames health authorities responsible for purchasing these services.

The specific information requested is as follows:

Neurosurgical units in Sussex and neighbouring counties
County/London Borough Location of unit Distance from Sussex county boundary1 (miles)
West Sussex Hurstwood Park hospital
Wimbledon Atkinson Morley's hospital 21
Camberwell Kings College/Maudsley 25
Greenwich The Brook hospital2 32
Hampshire Southampton general hospital 26
1 Estimated shortest distance by road to nearst town or village on or close to the border.
2 Until transfer of services.

District Health Authorities in South Thames without neurosurgical units within their boundaries

  • East Sussex (The one unit currently in Sussex is located in West Sussex, the other Sussex DHA)
  • East Kent
  • West Kent
  • Eastern Surrey
  • Western Surrey
  • Bromley
  • Croydon
  • Bexley and Greenwich (On transfer of services from the Brook hospital)
  • Kingston and Richmond