Calls for NHS bed closures

There is support today for plans to cut 200 beds at Gloucestershire's hospitals.

It comes from the think-tank REFORM, who have called for the NHS to cut more than 30,000 hospital beds to save cash and improve patient care.

They also say the Government and opposition parties should stop interfering in local decision-making about NHS ward closures.

All this comes after Gloucestershire's Hospital Trust announced it needed to save £27 million and would cut 200 beds as part of the cost cutting.

The move angered politicians, who said they had not be consulted and they forced the Trust to put the plans on hold until more consultation had been done.

The REFORM report also says health minister Mike O'Brien was wrong to interfere with plans to reduce hospital beds in Gloucestershire, after he accused managers of having "a lack of imagination'' in proposing the cuts and wrote to the trust expressing his concerns.