Accident and Emergency Departments

Health written question – answered on 5th February 2008.

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Photo of Gordon Prentice Gordon Prentice Labour, Pendle

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many blue light accident and emergency departments have become urgent care centres in the last 12 months; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of such transitions.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department of Health

The information is not held centrally.

It is a matter for the local national health service to ensure that urgent and emergency care services are provided that are responsive to people's needs. Changes to services are a matter for local decision. The key principle should always be to ensure that high quality care is provided as close to home as is compatible with clinical safety.

National health service trusts self-report the number of services they provide according to definitions provided by the Department on a quarterly basis. Latest information available shows that, at the end of September 2007, there were 204 type 1 (major) accident and emergency services in England. This compares with 203 type 1 services at the end of September 2006. These figures represent the overall national position at each of those time periods.

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