HC Deb 11 July 1955 vol 543 cc1568-9
38. Mr. Snow

asked the Minister of Health if he will investigate the lack of local medical practitioner facilities available to the public in the Armitage, Handsacre, and Ridware area near Rugeley, Staffordshire, in view of local concern and industrial development.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Miss Patricia Hornsby-Smith)

This is a matter for the Staffordshire Executive Council, who are responsible for making arrangements for the provision of general medical services in its area and which my right hon. Friend understands has up to the present, been satisfied with the services provided in these places.

Mr. Snow

Is the hon. Lady aware that, even if they are satisfied, the people who have to suffer in this area are not? In point of fact, there are only two surgeries a week in this rapidly developing industrial area, and outside those days patients are sent to Rugeley, which involves an expensive fare and where there are already overcrowded surgeries. Will the 'hon. Lady wake up the council concerned?

Miss Hornsby-Smith

I understand that representations on those lines have been made to the executive council, whose task it is to consider the matter. I would not presume to prejudge the result of its findings.

Dr. Summerskill

Does the hon. Lady mean that neither she nor her right hon. Friend has a responsibility to this House to tell it which are the under-doctored areas of the country, which have been scheduled and which have been under-doctored for a very long time?

Miss Hornsby-Smith

Under the regulations these areas are not considered to be under-doctored, but if there has been a change in the circumstances—and these are now being considered by the executive council—it is within its province to investigate the matter and to deal with it.

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