HC Deb 07 May 1962 vol 659 cc27-8
27. Mr. Tilney

asked the Minister of Health whether he will see that the new hospitals to be built in Liverpool are fully air-conditioned and reasonably sound-proof against noise outside.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Miss Edith Pitt)

Good ventilation and protection against outside noise will be important considerations, but full air-conditioning throughout is not regarded as necessary.

Mr. Tilney

Is not this a penny-wise pound-foolish policy for our noisy and besmogged towns? Would not my hon. Friend agree that nothing is mare expensive than modernising a building after it is built, whereas it is comparatively cheap to air-condition and denoise, if that is the right word, a building if it is planned from the start? Should we not be thinking in terms of the twenty-first rather than the twentieth century?

Miss Pitt

With the Hospital Plan, we hope that we are. Certainly considerable importance is attached to the elimination of noise. Full air-conditioning is not always necessary. It may be necessary in part, but it is not necessary throughout a hospital.

Mr. K. Robinson

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that it was discovered in the United States that some types of air conditioning contributed to the spread of infection through a hospital? Will the hon. Lady take good care that any installations in this country do not give rise to this type of hazard?

Miss Pitt

I was not aware of that. The climate is, of course, very different in the United States. I am glad, however, that the hon. Member has made the point, and I will see that note is taken of it.