HC Deb 12 December 1960 vol 632 c28
42 and 43. Mr. Burden

asked the Minister of Health (1) what will be the extent of the projected alteration to the present Royal Naval Hospital, Chatham, when it comes under his control; and what will be the estimated cost thereof;

(2) how many beds will be available at the present Royal Naval Hospital when it is fully equipped by the regional hospital board.

Miss Pitt

The regional hospital board's proposals are for an acute hospital of 550 to 600 beds. Major works will be needed, but it is too soon to estimate the total cost.

Mr. Burden

I thank my hon. Friend for that information. If this hospital is to be used for elderly people, will she bear in mind that there are at the moment very extensive grounds which could be important in making for the comfort and happiness of them? Will she consult her right hon. Friend to ensure that, as far as possible, these facilities remain in the hospital after it has been converted?

Miss Pitt

I understand that the main need of the Medway towns is acute beds, and that is what the regional board is-considering. Most certainly the board will take note of what my hon. Friend has said this afternoon.

Mr. Kirk

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that the future of this hospital affects an area outside the Medway towns and that there is an acute shortage of hospital beds in North-West Kent? Can she say when this hospital will come into full operation under the Health Service?

Miss Pitt

The regional board hopes to bring 100 beds into use in about two years' time.