HC Deb 14 May 1962 vol 659 cc925-6
31. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Minister of Health if plans for reorganisation and regrouping in the North-East Metropolitan Hospital Board region have now been completed; what new buildings will be constructed; what will be the cost; if the nursing staff is to be increased or reduced in consequence of the reorganisation; what financial economies will be effected; what buildings will cease to be used for hospital purposes; and what are the anticipated stages in the implementation of the whole scheme.

Miss Pitt

My right hon. Friend has approved three proposals for amalgamating hospital management committees and I understand the board may be making further proposals later. The changes are administrative and will not affect nursing staff. I cannot yet estimate the economies. On the rest of the Question I would refer the hon. Member to Command 1604.

Mr. Sorensen

First, does the hon. Lady appreciate that, although they may not affect the nursing staff directly, administrative economies should lead to some reduction in nursing staffs? Secondly, will she answer my question about whether she agrees that the widest possible publicity is required regarding developments in this part of Essex so that the staff and public and, indeed, the administrative staff may be aware of what is to happen?

Miss Pitt

I cannot believe that administrative changes will have any repercussions on nursing staff. The hospitals will continue to exist, but two of them will probably be managed by one committee instead of two separate committees. In answer to the hon. Member's point about publicity, the White Paper issued in January had a very wide coverage in the national Press and is still being dealt with at local level.