§ Mr. Woodward
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the statutory requirements for consultation when closing a community hospital. 
§ Mr. Milburn
The National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 requires that consultation must take place on the dissolution of NHS trusts. Additionally, the Community Health Councils (CHCs) Regulations 1996 require health authorities to consult CHCs on any proposals which the health authority has under consideration for any substantial developments of the health service in the CHCs' district and any substantial variation in the provision of such services.