HC Deb 16 April 2002 vol 383 cc923-4W
Mr. Breed

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many community hospitals there were in settlements with under 3,000 people in(a) 1999, (b) 2000 and (c) 2001. [46456]

Ms Blears

[holding answer 15 April 2002]: This information is not collected for individual hospitals.

The concept of care closer to home as identified by the National Beds Inquiry (NBI) underpins our plans for modernising the health service. To this end maximum use needs to be made of community hospitals in delivering and coordinating the local population's care. Community hospitals are working hard to develop their roles, for example in carrying out day surgery, minor procedures and caring for patients in the recuperative phases of recovery from illness or accident. They will be key players in meeting our target of introducing an additional 5,000 intermediate care beds—the bridge between hospital and home—by 2004.