HC Deb 01 April 1963 vol 675 cc8-9
26. Mr. Prior

asked the Minister of Health whether he will make a further investigation into the position of orthopaedic beds for the area covered by the Norwich, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Hospital Management Committee with a view to taking steps to bring about a rapid improvement.

Mr. Braine

I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply to him on 28th January; the additional consultant has now been appointed.

Mr. Prior

When is the additional consultant likely to take up work? Is my hon. Friend aware that East Anglia feels that it is being neglected both in this regard and in regard to the matter I raised in my previous Question? Can the East Anglian Regional Board be pushed a little to help the East Coast more than it is at the moment?

Mr. Braine

The consultant will take up his duties in May. I note what my hon. Friend said in the second part of his supplementary question. I think that what I said earlier covers that—that the Plan is not inflexible, that it is revised from time to time, and that there is no reason why full account should not be taken of the changing circumstances of the region.

Mr. Hilton

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the area covered by these hospitals includes a very large rural population who consider that they are entitled to far more of this type of bed in these hospitals? In view of the difficulties experienced in getting to hospital, will not the hon. Gentleman have another look at this to see if he can expedite the provision of more beds in these hospitals?

Mr. Braine