§ Mrs. Jane Kennedy
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will set out the process of consultation that will apply to the proposed changes to health services by local health authorities.744W
§ Mr. Sackville
District health authorities (DHAs) are required by the Community Health Council (CHC) Regulations 1985 (SI No. 304), as amended, to consult the relevant CHC on proposals they are considering which would result in substantial changes to the services in the district.
Information about the proposed changes should be provided to the relevant CHC and other interested parties, and a date prescribed by which comments should be made. The DHA will then reconsider the proposal in the light of the comments and, if there is no objection from the CHC, may proceed with implementation.
Ministers make decisions on contested closure proposals. Where a CHC wishes to object formally to a proposal, involving the closure or change of use of a health building, the DHA refers it to the regional health authority (RHA). If the RHA supports the DHA's proposal, it will refer the proposal to the Secretary of State for final decision.