Health spokesmen disagree on how hospital closures should be managed

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 23 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2238
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    The health spokesmen for the three main political parties clashed over the best way to manage changes in health services when they took part in a debate on 22 April.

    Health secretary Andy Burnham defended decisions made by Labour in recent years to close some hospital maternity, children’s, and emergency departments to allow the same departments in hospitals nearby to specialise. The decisions had all been very difficult, he admitted, and affected his own constituents in Manchester.

    When the shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley promised to put a stop to further changes should the Conservatives win power in May Mr Burnham accused him of …

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