HC Deb 02 December 1963 vol 685 cc776-7
35. Mr. Dance

asked the Minister of Health whether he will give an assurance that plans for the expansion of Redditch will include the provision of maternity facilities.

Mr. Braine

It is too early yet to determine how and where such facilities would best be provided.

Mr. Dance

Can my hon. Friend tell me when the regional hospital board will be able to consider the matter? Secondly, will that board take into consideration the inevitable increase in population when Redditch becomes a new town? Thirdly, will it be able to make any plans to build or enlarge the existing Smallwood Hospital in Redditch?

Mr. Braine

I understand that there will be a public inquiry into the new town proposal on 7th January to consider objections. If the order is then made and a development corporation appointed, the Birmingham Regional Hospital Board will, at a very early stage, start discussions with the Corporation about the provision of hospital services.

The answer to the second part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question—about taking into account the increased population—is "Yes". The answer to the third part of by hon. Friend's question—about Smallwood Hospital—is that I understand that it is too small to permit any major development but, as my hon. Friend knows, the hospital plan for this area envisages the development of the major district general hospital at Rubery, and, in the long term, one at Bromsgrove.