HC Deb 07 February 1966 vol 724 cc15-6
25. Mr. Gardner

asked the Minister of Health what steps are being taken to augment the maternity services available at St. Andrew's Hospital, Billericay.

Mr. Loughlin

It is not practicable to do so at this hospital, but a new unit at Orsett will open shortly, and other units being planned at other existing hospitals and at the new hospital at Basildon will materially augment the service for the area.

Mr. Gardner

Is it not a fact that these maternity services provided in this area are grossly over-burdened and that the key to the problem is the building of a new hospital at Basildon? Is not this a reason why building should begin as soon as possible?

Mr. Loughlin

We are agreed that the maternity services are not all that we would desire them to be, but we think that it should be possible to start work on the new Basildon hospital, the first phase of which will contain a maternity unit, in 1967. In the meantime we are doing what we can to provide alternative services.