HC Deb 08 December 1958 vol 597 cc26-7
32. Mr. V. Yates

asked the Minister of Health when the recommendations of the University Grants Committee, received by him on 18th February, regarding the proposed new dental hospital in Birmingham, were approved; and whether all necessary sanctions have now been made to enable the building of this hospital to be commenced without further delay.

Mr. R. Thompson

The recommendations of the University Grants Committee covered a wider field, but agreement on the student entry on which this hospital should be planned was reached last spring and my right hon. and learned Friend has recently received revised sketch plans, which are being considered as speedily as possible.

Mr. Yates

Is the Minister aware that the information which I have is to the effect that the final plans were approved in the spring and that no alterations have been proposed? Is he aware that I am informed that if this is not put forward within the next month this hospital cannot be built to accommodate the cases until 1962?

Mr. Thompson

I cannot quite agree with the hon. Gentleman's assessment of the timetable. Revised sketch plans were received from the board of governors on 13th October. These are being examined by the Ministry's professional advisers with a view to assessing the portion of the cost which the University Grants Committee will be asked to bear.

Dr. Summerskill

Can the Minister tell the House why he allows the delay, in view of the fact that there is a widespread shortage of dentists and that we are told time after time that this is related to the shortage of training facilities?

Mr. Thompson

As the right hon. Lady well knows, we have accepted the recommendations of the McNair Committee in this respect.

Mr. Yates

In view of the totally unsatisfactory nature of the Minister's answers to all my Questions on this subject, I beg to give notice that I will take an early opportunity of raising the matter on the Adjournment. The Ministers should come to Birmingham.