HC Deb 07 March 1955 vol 538 cc11-2
20. Captain Pilkington

asked the Minister of Health what decision he has reached concerning the proposal of the Western Area Committee that a new hospital shall be built to serve the Poole-Bournemouth area.

47. Mr. J. Eden

asked the Minister of Health what steps he intends to take to relieve the present shortage of hospital beds in the Bournemouth and East Dorset area.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I have approved schemes at three hospitals in the Bournemouth and East Dorset area which during the next 18 months are expected to provide nearly 100 additional beds. The proposal for a new hospital in the Poole-Bournemouth area must be considered along with all other similar proposals now being submitted to me by hospital boards.

Captain Pilkington

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the need there is very acute and that the number on the waiting list has gone up over the last two years; and can he expedite consideration of the matter?

Mr. Macleod

I will look at it as soon as it comes in. My information is that the new hospital in the Poole and Bournemouth area is placed fifth by the regional board concerned in its projects. If my hon. Friend chooses to take up that matter with the board and claims that that is a lower position than is warranted, that might be his most effective step.

Mr. J. Eden

Can my right hon. Friend say whether any additional money will be made available in this area for capital expenditure? Does he realise that there are about 5,000 people already on the waiting list for hospital treatment in the area and that the site for the new hospital has already been agreed?

Mr. Macleod

Over the course of the next three years, in the programme which I have announced, we are more or less doubling the capital provision in England and Wales. No doubt all areas will benefit from that. Whether any particular new hospital will be built, apart from that which I have already indicated in my statement, is a matter on which I cannot pronounce until I have seen all the detailed proposals.