HC Deb 21 January 1954 vol 522 cc1175-6
12 Miss Burton

asked the Minister of Health (1) if he has now received the Birmingham Regional Hospital Board's programme of capital works for 1954ሓ55; and what proportion of the sum of £625,000 notified to the board in July, 1953, for the financing of schemes in the region during the financial year 1954£55 has now been allocated by them.

(2) what schemes have been approved for grant by the Birmingham Regional Hospital Board out of the sum of £625,000 allocated to them for the financial year 1954–55; and the estimated cost of each.

(3) whether he is aware that the population of Coventry has increased by 42,000 since 1938 and that the hospital bed accommodation has decreased by almost 25 per cent.; and if, therefore, he will reconsider the possibility of starting phase three in the financial year 1954–55.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Although I have not yet received the Board's final programme, and although I cannot accept the hon. Lady's comparison of bed accommodation, I understand that the Board hope to undertake some preparatory work on phase three in 1954–55.

Miss Burton

In dealing with that one reply to three Questions, may I ask the Minister whether he is aware that he told me in a Written answer that he would be receiving this information from the Regional Board before the day when these Questions were to appear on the Order Paper? Why has that information not been received yet? Does the right hon. Gentleman mean that work on the proposed extension at Stoney Stanton Road is actually to begin in this coming financial year, as was suggested by the Parliamentary Secretary in a statement the other day?

Mr. Macleod

Yes, it is proposed to start site clearance work, as far as one can see ahead at the moment, as part of phase three, in the financial year 1954–55. I have not yet received final details of the Board's final programme. I was not aware that there was any delay in the matter and I will see whether we can get on as soon as possible.

Miss Burton

Is the Minister aware that the fact that work is to commence will give great satisfaction and that I should like to thank him for having made that possible? But what did the right hon. Gentleman mean by saying that he was not accepting the comparison on bed accommodation? That is correct.

Mr. Macleod

The figures that I have are quite different, but perhaps we can have a word about it later.