HC Deb 14 July 1958 vol 591 cc803-4
22. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Minister of Health what progress is being made with the plans for University College Dental Hospital which have been under discussion for 10 years.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Mr. Richard Thompson)

Revised sketch plans were submitted in January and are acceptable to my Department and the University Grants Committee. The revised plans provide for an increased student intake and my right hon. and learned Friend hopes it will shortly be possible to authorise the board of governors to invite tenders.

Dame Irene Ward

While thanking my hon. Friend for that very useful bit of information, may I ask him to see that there is no further delay? It has taken very long to get as far as we have already gone, and it is rather boring for everybody.

Mr. Thompson

I will do my best in that matter, but I am bound to say that it involves £500,000, excluding the cost of equipment. It takes a good deal of thinking about.

Mrs. Slater

In view of the fact that the Minister of Health has just admitted the terrible shortage of dentists in the country and the immediate concern, especially about the treatment of children's teeth, would it not be wise expenditure to hurry on the beginning of this university?

Mr. Thompson

I am obliged to the hon. Lady for that intervention. It is because of the shortage of dentists and to meet university requirements that the original provision for an intake of thirty-five students a year has been revised and an intake of fifty is now proposed.