HC Deb 18 July 1960 vol 627 cc6-7
15. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Health how many hospitals are either substantially over 50 years old or mainly composed of temporary buildings erected more than 15 years ago.

Mr. Walker-Smith

The information available shows only the dates at which hospitals were originally erected, but not the date or extent of subsequent alterations and improvements over the period in question. Fourteen hundred hospitals now in use were originally erected before 1910, and 90 mainly consisting of temporary buildings have been in use for more than 15 years.

Mr. Boyden

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman say what proportion of new building that represents in the current year and in the years to come compared with the number of old and derelict buildings?

Mr. Walker-Smith

In the present year, £25½ million has been allocated for hospital building in England and Wales. That is divided between centrally financed major schemes, allocations to hospital boards and lesser amounts for plant replacement and special mental hospital needs, respectively. Of the first two items, which comprise the larger amount, the hospital boards' allocation is slightly bigger than the amount for centrally financed schemes. Not all the centrally financed schemes are for new hospitals. Some of them are for the extension and modernisation of existing hospitals.