Reforms in London won't close hospitals, says health secretary

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 02 August 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:227
  1. Lisa Hitchen
  1. London

    Specialist stroke centres and GPs' supersurgeries won't mean hospital closures in London, the health secretary, Alan Johnson, has told MPs.

    At this first opportunity to be grilled by his peers since taking up the post a month ago, Mr Johnson reassured the health select committee that the proposed reforms do not carry a hidden agenda for more cuts (BMJ 2007;335:61, 14 Jul doi: 10.1136/bmj.39273.467697.DB).

    Doug Naysmith, MP for Bristol North West, was one of the many committee members who feared that they might. Stroke centres would offer scans in three hours, he said. “That must reflect on the future of large hospitals because we can't have 10 or 12 of those in London because we just don't have the facilities, and that means concentrating down.”

    “That is true, but it does not mean other hospitals closing down,” replied Mr Johnson. “For example King's [College Hospital] has a very good …

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