HC Deb 01 February 1965 vol 705 cc722-3
46. Mr. Heffer

asked the Minister of Health if he will reconsider the method of representation on the various hospital boards.

Mr. K. Robinson

I would refer my hon. Friend to the Answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) on 16th November.

Mr. Heffer

In his future consideration of the matter, will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that there is a great deal of dissatisfaction, particularly in the trade union movement, over hospital board representation; and that the trades councils, particularly, have applied pressure?

Mr. Robinson

I should, perhaps, explain that before appointing members of boards I am required by the Act to consult universities, local health authorities, representatives of the medical profession, and a number of other interested organisations. There is a wide choice open to me. I will, of course, bear in mind all considerations brought to my attention by my hon. Friend or by any Member of the House.

Mr. Hale

Is my hon. Friend aware that since he gave that Answer to the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) on 16th January, the hon. Member has been informed that over the last 13 years—when, of course, my right hon. Friend was not responsible—the Labour membership of the local hospital committee has been reduced from six to two; that there has been jiggery-pokery—to which I called the attention of the House 12 months ago publicly, and this is on its records; that we are gravely dissatisfied with the constitution of the local hospital committee and think that it is too slow and that something must be done about it and that my efforts to do something about it will be frustrated by the local hospital committee unless we get a stronger membership on it?

Mr. Robinson

My hon. Friend will realise that hospital management committees are not appointed by me. They are appointed by the regional hospital boards, which are appointed by me.

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