Daring to ask: is there a future for smaller hospitals in the NHS?

The NHS Confederation and the Nuffield Trust's second debate in our joint event series - Daring to ask - took place on 12 July.


Start date: 12/07/2016 | 18:00

End date: 12/07/2016 | 20:00

For more information on this conference contact:

020 7631 8450

Many local and national NHS initiatives have looked at centralising hospital care, for reasons of both efficiency and quality. Efforts to deliver seven day services could also require a concentration of services at fewer sites, to bring together limited workforce and provide full staffing. Such initiatives often include the downgrading or closure of smaller hospitals – a source of much controversy with the public and politicians.

At the same time, NHS England and NHS Improvement have committed to create viable models for smaller hospitals, particularly in rural and remote areas, as some studies have challenged the idea that centralisation leads to benefits for patients and NHS finances.

This debate asked a panel of policy experts and NHS leaders to discuss whether there is a future for smaller hospitals in the NHS? The panel considered: 

  • What is the evidence for centralisation?
  • Do smaller hospitals still have an important role in the current context? If so, what is it?
  • How can this role be maintained in a cash-strapped NHS?




NHS Confederation