Lilley calls for study into A&E mergers

- Monday, 20th May 2002


Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, last week called for a
nationwide study into whether mergers of Accident and Emergency Units had
produced the promised benefits. In a Parliamentary debate on Accident and
Emergency provision, Mr. Lilley condemned the Health Minister?s refusal to
provide better information on mergers.

Peter Lilley said:

"When accident and emergency provision at St Albans was merged with that at
Hemel Hempstead we were assured that health outcomes would improve. But
evidence of such improvements has not been forthcoming. I have repeatedly
asked Ministers to carry out a nationwide study of mergers to see whether
they have produced better health outcomes. Each time, they have failed to
do so.

"In this debate, the Health Minister, Ms. Hazel Blears, refused to promise
any investigation. It is surely sensible to carry out a study into the
supposed benefits before any further mergers take place, especially when
half to three quarters of the accident and emergency units in Hertfordshire
are facing possible closure. However, the Minister?s response shows yet
again the Government?s avoidance of an evidence-based health policy."



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