§ Mr. Cartwright
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to discourage area health authorities from closing temporarily hospital facilities, about the long-term future of which they are involved in public consultation.
§ Mr. Moyle
Temporary closures occur for a variety of reasons including, for example, shortages of staff or financial resources, infection, or deficiencies of the building. Area health authorities must be free to make whatever arrangements are necessary for the day-to-day management of hospital services in such circumstances. Nevertheless, they have been asked to inform community health councils of any substantial temporary closures at as early a stage as possible.