HC Deb 14 July 1958 vol 591 c817
33. Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Minister of Health the total number of health centres in operation, under construction and planned, respectively, at the latest available date; and what action is being taken to encourage their further development.

Mr. R. Thompson

Nine health centres established by local health authorities since the appointed day are in operation. Three are under construction, and another will be started this year. Nine other schemes have been proposed, and three at least of these are likely to be started in 1959–60. My right hon. and learned Friend is always prepared to consider proposals for more of these centres within the limitations on capital expenditure, but it is right that the initiative should be taken locally.

Mr. Blenkinsop

In view of recent statements which, I understand, the Minister made concerning his interest in developing health centres, are we to take it that he will not send out a special circular to health authorities inviting them to submit new proposals?

Mr. Thompson

I do not know what my right hon. and learned Friend had in mind on that, but I have no doubt that he will take note of what the hon. Member has said. It is, however, right that the initiative in these matters should be taken locally, as the success of a centre depends entirely on the attitude of the local practitioners and others concerned.