HC Deb 21 June 1951 vol 489 cc698-9
41. Mr. Vosper

asked the Minister of Health what arrangements exist to make available to the public the contents of the annual accounts of hospital management committees after their presentation to Parliament.

Mr. Marquand

Management committees are free to publish their accounts after the national accounts have been presented to Parliament, and some of them do so.

Mr. Vosper

Could the Minister do anything to ensure that more of them do so, because it is difficult to get the public to take a lively interest in hospital accounts if they do not see the accounts?

Mr. Marquand

I think I can leave it to their discretion, but no doubt their attention may be called to the matter by this exchange of question and answer.

Major Guy Lloyd

Could one of the reasons be that the enormous amount of money spent on administration so far exceeds that spent on the real welfare of the hospitals that the Government would not like to publish the figures?

Mr. Marquand

That could not be the reason because the statement is not justified by the facts.

Mr. G. Thomas

Will my right hon. Friend suggest that other hospitals do what is done at Cardiff, hold public meetings at which these things can be considered? They are well attended at Cardiff.

Sir H. Williams

Will the right hon. Gentleman say what is the time lag between the submission of the accounts to a hospital group and submission to him before they are published to Parliament? Does he realise that there is an immense delay?

Mr. Marquand

I could not say without notice.