§ 15. Mr. Burden
asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what plans he has for the future of the Royal Naval Hospital, Chatham.
§ Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing
The Chatham Royal Naval Hospital will cease to be used as a naval hospital on 1st April, 1961, when it will be transferred to the Minister of Health. I understand that considerable major works will be necessary before it can fulfil its intended rôle as the main acute hospital for the Medway towns. The regional hospital board hopes to have completed sufficient work in about two years time to enable about 100 beds to be brought into use for general acute work.
§ Mr. Burden
While that statement will give general satisfaction to the people of the Medway towns, is my hon. Friend aware that it will obviously create concern among the civilian employees who are at present working in the Royal Naval Hospital? What steps have been taken, or are being taken, to try to find alternative employment for those people?
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
We hope to be able to find alternative employment for at least three-quarters of the 200 or so employees affected.