§ 19. Mr. Randall
asked the Minister of Health when it is anticipated that the first stage of 250 beds for general hospital purposes at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, will be completed.
§ Mr. R. Thompson
I am not clear what scheme is in the hon. Member's mind. The regional hospital board has no plans for such a development.
§ Mr. Randall
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that as far back as 1936, the then Minister of Health approved such a scheme and, in fact, pledged a 75 per cent. financial grant? In view of that and of the time that has elapsed since, does not the hon. Gentleman feel that something more should be done by the regional board to make these 250 beds available?
§ Mr. Thompson
I have no responsibility for what was said in 1936, but in specific answer to the hon. Gentleman's point, in order to consider this matter that concerns him, a joint committee of representatives of the hospital manage- 824 ment committee and of the regional hospital board is now looking into the hospital services generally in the Gateshead area.