Health secretary makes U turn over service closure at London hospital

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 14 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5848
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Changes to services at Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals in north London first proposed by the local NHS and backed by the Labour government in 2008 are to go ahead. The health secretary for England, Andrew Lansley, has accepted the findings of a review that found that reconfiguration is in the best interests of patients, despite promises by himself and the prime minister, David Cameron, before and after the election that the hospital would not be subjected to “top-down” changes.

Mr Lansley had asked the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, which is made up of doctors, managers, and lay people, to review the plans for the hospitals against four criteria, all of which must be passed: that the changes are backed by clinical evidence; that they have the support of GP commissioners; that they promote patients’ choice; and that they are agreed after engagement with the public, patients, …

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