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Milburn promises more hospital beds

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7271.1246 (Published 18 November 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1246
  1. Judy Jones
  1. London

    The steady fall in the number of acute hospital beds in England must be reversed if the government is to achieve its aim of expanding NHS capacity and treating more patients, Alan Milburn, the health secretary, told a Commons committee.

    “We have an underdoctored, undernursed, underbedded system, and we must dramatically increase the number of patients treated and reduce waits,” Mr Milburn told MPs. “We have to see an expansion in general and acute beds.”

    In evidence to the health, select committee inquiry into NHS spending, Mr Milburn strenuously defended the private finance initiative (PFI), a method for procuring new hospitals and other healthcare facilities in the NHS, against the welter of criticism that has engulfed the policy.

    Some independent analyses have concluded …

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