HC Deb 28 June 1965 vol 715 cc18-9
26. Mr. Alldritt

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that, since the closure of Liverpool Stanley Hospital, patients in urgent need of hospital medical treatment have had to be sent to Southport, Ormskirk and Birkenhead because there were no beds available in the North Liverpool-Bootle area; and what action he will take in this matter.

Mr. K. Robinson

My information is that there has been no increase in the number of admissions of Liverpool residents to hospitals outside the city.

Mr. Alldritt

Is my right hon. Friend aware that we are receiving growing complaints on this matter, and will he agree that, if the regional hospital board it not aware of the facts, it is not in a position to indicate where new hospitals should be located because its information must be inaccurate?

Mr. Robinson

I have no reason to believe that the information which has been given to me is inaccurate. I am told that the total of admissions arranged by the emergency bed bureau to hospitals outside the city during the first five months of 1965 was less, in fact, than during the corresponding period of 1964.

27. Mr. Simon Mahon

asked the Minister of Health if, in the planning of hospital arrangements for the North Liverpool-Bootle-Crosby region, he will take account of the proposal of Mersey Docks and Harbour Board to build a new £65 million deep-water dock, the size of a new port, north of Gladstone Dock.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Mr. Charles Loughlin)

Yes, Sir. The new accident and emergency centre now being built at Walton Hospital will have sufficient capacity to deal with the accident cases likely to arise from a dock of this size.

Mr. Mahon

In view of what my hon. Friend has just said, may we have an undertaking that the Stanley Hospital may be reopened and the Bootle Hospital casualty department not closed until these other arrangements have been made? Second, may we be assured that there will be consultation with the local authorities before any further closures take place, and will my hon. Friend give a definitive statement about the future of Bootle Hospital?

Mr. Loughlin

As my hon. Friend is aware, there always are consultations with local authorities before closures take place. We feel that this new unit, which will be completed in April, 1966, will be able to deal with the situation. So far, there has not been a definite decision to build the new dock. We think that it will be done, but the new unit will be there in time.