HC Deb 16 July 1953 vol 517 cc2240-1
36. Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Minister of Health how many consultant appointments proposed by regional hospital boards since 1st January, 1953, have been rejected by him; and how many of these appointments were proposed by the Newcastle Regional Hospital Board.

Mr. Iain Macleod

None has been rejected. A number of proposals, including 12 from the Newcastle Regional Hospital Board, are under consideration and discussion with the Board.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Will the right hon. Gentleman give as speedy consideration as possible to the cases before him, because there is anxiety in the region that we should not in any way reduce the standard of specialist services available in the region?

Mr. Macleod

There is no intention to reduce the standard, but in looking at these applications one must take into account the way in which the region is already served, and, as I think the hon. Gentleman knows, Newcastle is fairly well off in this respect.

Miss Ward

Is my right hon. Friend aware how grateful we are in the Northern region that since he took office we have got more money in the region for our State medical service than we had when the hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East (Mr. Blenkinsop) was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health in the Socialist Government?

Mr. Blenkinsop

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we are particularly anxious that the appointments that are before him at the moment should not be rejected, because although there has been considerable advance over the last five or six years, perhaps more in the Northern Region than elsewhere, the service is still far from that which we want to establish?

Mr. Macleod

I do not object at all to the point which the hon. Gentleman makes, but there has been far more progress in the last two years than there was before.