Acute Hospital Services

Part of Opposition Day — [6th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 2:36 pm on 21st February 2007.

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Photo of Patricia Hewitt Patricia Hewitt Secretary of State, Department of Health 2:36 pm, 21st February 2007

The consultation process is absolutely real. We strengthened it and put it on a statutory basis. We require any significant change in NHS services to go through a very full—some would say too full—process of local consultation with staff, patients and the public, including, of course, their elected representatives. That will apply to any proposals for reconfiguration of emergency services. I will not anticipate the results, but the hon. Gentleman will be aware that as a result of consultations in many other parts of the country, changes have been made to ensure that patients always receive the best possible services with the best possible value for money.