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Lord Rea: My Lords, before the noble Baroness sits down, in her reply she said that the reason for the smaller income of the unit was that fewer patients were being referred to Birmingham for treatment and presumably for operations. How is it then that the number on the waiting list has been increasing?
Baroness Cumberlege: My Lords, I believe that I explained that it is to do with all the changes that are taking place: the need to close beds to refurbish some of the other units; and some of the moves that are taking place concerning the children's hospital and other developments.
Lord Howell: My Lords, the Minister said that she is not able to accede to my request for an inquiry; and I am sad about that. But will she assure the House that she and her ministerial colleagues will maintain a continuous interest in the affairs of those hospitals until the service provided meets the satisfaction of the Members of Parliament and the people of Birmingham?
Baroness Cumberlege: My Lords, I willingly give an undertaking to the noble Lord that we shall keep a very close eye on South Birmingham. The situation needs improvement and I shall give a personal commitment to that.