HC Deb 31 October 1955 vol 545 cc654-5
28. Mr. D. Howell

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the great load being carried by the casualty department of Dudley Road Hospital, Birmingham, which is quite inadequate for its requirements; whether he will give priority to the scheme for its rebuilding; and when he estimates that this may be completed.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I am aware of the need, but I am afraid that the number of even more urgent schemes makes it impossible to include this one in the hospital building programme to be started by 1958. I am not at this stage able to say what may be possible in subsequent years.

Mr. Howell

Is the Minister aware that this hospital's casualty department takes in 52 per cent. of all the casualties in the City of Birmingham, which is an enormous proportion, bearing in mind that the remaining hospitals take in only 48 per cent., that this scheme has been in the minds of the hospital management committee for many years, and that they regard it as a great handicap to their work that they canot get on with it? Will the right hon. Gentleman look at it again in view of these facts?

Mr. Macleod

I do not question the importance of this scheme. Indeed, it was included in the list sent to me by the Birmingham Regional Hospital Board, but within those major priorities it was given quite a low rating, and I must leave decisions on matters of that nature to my regional hospital boards.