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Health Groups Agree That Some Hospitals Should Close

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Much has been made of the recent comments made by Lord Crisp, the former chief executive of the NHS between 2000 and 2006, concerning the potential closure of some NHS hospitals. He thinks that a certain number of hospitals should close in order that funds can be shifted to other parts of the NHS where they are needed more.

Now people from various health groups have stood behind Lord Crisp’s comments, saying that he is correct in wanting to divert funds to areas of the NHS where more long term treatment is required. Typical areas include those where patients have long term illnesses that can be better and more ably treated at home. Macmillan Cancer Support has also voiced its support for the idea, saying that treatment in the community would be better quality if less cash was being spent on hospitals that were not needed.

However not everyone is in complete agreement with Lord Crisp’s comments. Ros Altmann, who is the director general of Saga, a company focusing on the over 50s, agreed with the idea in principle, but said that it got things “in the wrong order”. It would be better to improve social care and support first and then concentrate on closing hospitals to find the extra cash to fund the services in future.

It remains to be seen if such a plan would go ahead. The Department of Health said that hospital treatment is not necessary for everyone, but closures must go through a strict procedure before they are approved.

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