HC Deb 20 January 2003 vol 398 cc132-3W
Tim Loughton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what NHS contracts have been carried out by the King Edward VII Hospital Midhurst since May 1997;[89934]

(2) what part he plans to play in facilitating a rescue plan to enable the King Edward VII Hospital Midhurst to continue operating; [89935]

(3) what discussions he has held with the King Edward VII Hospital in Midhurst on the appointment of a provisional liquidator. [89933]

Ms Blears

This information is not held centrally.

Ministers and departmental officials have received a number of representations regarding the situation at the hospital. Discussions with the liquidator are currently ongoing. In view of that, it would not be appropriate for Ministers to comment further, although these discussions will of course focus on the continuing provision of appropriate care for national health service patients.

Mr. Tyrie

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the effect on waiting times at St. Richard's hospital, Chichester of the impending closure of King Edward VII hospital at Midhurst; [90142]

(2) what budgeting constraints prevent orthopaedic treatment provided by the NHS in hospitals abroad from being provided in King Edward VII hospital Midhurst; and what the cost differential is. [90141]

Ms Blears

Overseas treatment is one of the options open to national health service commissioners seeking to increase the number of patients treated and reduce waiting times. Any NHS body can commission treatment abroad for its patients and a relatively small-scale pilot was undertaken to establish good practice. It is up to local commissioners to decide, in the light of capacity constraints across their local health economies, and taking into account the different commissioning options available to them, whether or not to refer patients overseas for treatment.

At present a liquidator has been called in to King Edward VII hospital and discussions are now taking place to secure health provision for the local-community. The West Sussex health community is working to ensure that any adverse impact is kept to a minimum.