Letter: Counting the cost of hospital beds

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From Professor Walter Holland

Sir: Ron Kerr and Chris Spry (letter, 7 March) should not attempt to rewrite history. The Tomlinson report did argue that improvements in London primary care/ general practice would lead to a reduction in the need for hospital beds. Paragraph 77 states:

the developments in primary and community health services which we have recommended could reduce the pressure on acute hospital facilities in three ways: first, by promoting a healthier population not needing such frequent hospital admission; secondly, by providing health care in more appropriate settings in the community; and thirdly, by enabling `blocked' beds to be released more rapidly.

The fallacy of this argument, first put forward by Beveridge, was pointed out at the time, to the Secretary of State by me and several others.

Yours faithfully,


Kew, Surrey

7 March