I have been a member of the Southern Division Approval Panel since its inception in 1972. Thereafter I visited, with other panel members, two or three hospitals per year. I became Convener in 1978 and in my four years in office I visited over 35 hospitals, although these were not all separate visits. I look after a catchment area in South-East London, with all the in-patient services at Bexley Hospital. It is entirely my personal opinion that if I was not involved with a district service I probably would not have accepted the invitation to be a convener. I do not think I would necessarily have been a worse convener, but I might have been rather less credible.
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