HC Deb 05 November 1956 vol 558 c1942
30. Mr. V. Yates

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that overcrowding has increased at the Birmingham Dental Hospital during the past six months, that waiting lists have been closed, and that owing to pressure in the local anaesthetics department urgent cases have to wait three or four days ; if he will take immediate action to expedite the building of a new dental hospital; and what action he proposes to take in the meantime to relieve the present congestion.

Miss Hornsby-Smith

My right hon. Friend is aware that, in spite of the additional accommodation provided last year, this hospital is still under heavy pressure. Plans for a new hospital are under consideration ; and he is asking the regional hospital board and the board of governors to see whether steps can be taken at other hospitals to relieve the immediate situation.

Mr. Yates

Is the hon. Lady aware that at this dental hospital there is one room with 25 dental chairs in it and two others with 18 dental chairs all practically touching each other? The position is much worse than when I called her attention to it two years ago, and then the matter was "under consideration". Can we have an undertaking that urgent action will be taken by the Minister to see that this position is remedied?

Miss Hornsby-Smith

I am not in conflict with the hon. Gentleman over the need for a new hospital. That is accepted. An additional building was brought into operation in 1955, but the pressure on this hospital is great and it should be remembered that it is primarily a teaching hospital and not intended to provide general services in dentistry for all comers.