Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    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.”