Notes to editors
The briefing paper Reconfiguration of hospital services is published on Tuesday 6 September 2011. For further information, or to request an interview, please contact the Press and Public Affairs team at The King's Fund on 020 7307 2585 (if calling out of hours, please ring 07584 146 035).
(1) The Independent Reconfiguration Panel is an advisory body that reviews and advises the Secretary of State on contested proposals for reorganising hospital services. It is required to assess whether proposals will provide 'safe, sustainable and accessible services for the local population', taking account of issues of quality, patient choice, GP referral preferences, the quality of public engagement and 'any other issues ministers direct'. The Secretary of State is not legally obliged to act on its advice and acts as the final arbiter on reconfiguration decisions.