24. Miss Ward
asked the Minister of Health what weighting in the allocation of capital expenditure is given to regional hospital boards operating in areas which suffered serious unemployment in the depression in the 193O's.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
The allocation is made mainly on a population basis with an additional weighting to meet particular local needs, including a disproportionate shortage of beds, from whatever cause arising.
Would my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the more prosperous areas in the 30's were able to improve their hospital services, whereas the Special Areas were not in that favourable position? Is my right hon. Friend further aware that the Newcastle Regional Hospital Board considers that 2275 it has not got a fair allocation with which to catch up on the period of distress and unemployment during the depression, and will he bear that in mind when he receives a deputation from that board?
§ Mr. Macleod
I should have thought the figures go a long way to disprove that assertion, because the Newcastle Regional Hospital Board received £393,000 on a population basis and £69,000 on account of lack of beds, and of the further central £2 million allocation, Newcastle was allocated more than twice the amount that would have been given on a purely population basis.
Could the Minister state what are the possibilities of having a new county hospital built in Durham, as there has been such a restriction upon capital expenditure of the North Regional Hospital Board?