Bull Hill Maternity Hospital

Oral Answers to Questions — Social Services – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th November 1979.

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Photo of Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke , Darwen 12:00 am, 13th November 1979

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will intervene to prevent the threatened closure of the Bull Hill maternity hospital in Darwen.

Photo of Dr Gerard Vaughan Dr Gerard Vaughan , Reading South

The Lancashire area health authority sees the hospital's closure as part of the long-term reorganisation of maternity services in the Blackburn district, but that will not take place for a number of years. Formal consultations on its proposal have yet to be undertaken and my right hon. Friend would not wish to become involved at this stage.

Photo of Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke , Darwen

Does my hon. Friend realise that that small and excellent hospital is exactly the type which he must have had in mind when he spoke recently about the need to preserve small hospitals? Will he keep a watchful eye on the bureaucratic and remote actions of the Lancashire area health authority?

Photo of Dr Gerard Vaughan Dr Gerard Vaughan , Reading South

Let no one doubt this Government's commitment to small hospitals and their expanding role in the community. I am not surprised that my hon. and learned Friend speaks so highly of that hospital. If any proposals are brought forward I shall certainly keep his views in mind.

Photo of Mr Allan Roberts Mr Allan Roberts , Bootle

Is the Minister aware of threatened hospital closures throughout the country—

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

Order. The question is about a specific hospital, and supplementary questions should be related to that hospital.