We have also recently outlined our proposals to insist in future - where a closure of a hospital or facility is suggested - that a public local hearing should be held, akin to a public inquiry, to give the local community the opportunity to cross-examine those putting forward any such proposal.
We have of course said that in government we will want to look at streamlining bureaucracy hierarchies in hospital trusts in order to release money that can be spent on patient care.
This does not however entail the closures of sites and facilities. Your reporter appears to have confused the two issues.
CHRIS SMITH MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
House of Commons
The Editor writes: The Independent stands by its report.