HC Deb 09 May 1966 vol 728 cc17-8
11. Mr. Abse

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the lack, both absolute and relative to other parts of Wales, of hospital facilities in the Newport and East Monmouthshire area; whether he is giving consideration to alternative siting of the beds projected in further phases of hospital building in Monmouthshire in order to take into account the growing population of the Cwmbran New Town and the availability of suitable staff; and whether his decisions will be expedited and the intended further hospital building accelerated.

Mr. Loughlin

A ward block of 156 beds and 25 cots and a theatre suite of four theatres together with a gynaecology theatre have recently been opened to patients as an addition to the 247 beds of the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport.

In the review of the hospital plan for this area my right hon. Friend has taken account of the factors referred to in the Question.

Mr. Abse

Is the Minister aware that although Monmouthshire may be aware of what has gone on in the past it is more concerned about what will go on in the future? Can we have a decision about what will happen in connection with phase 2 of the Royal Gwent Hospital, and whether it will be where it was originally sited or elsewhere? Will he bear in mind the fact that last week at the Royal Gwent the emergency casualty department almost broke down as a result of shortage of staff?

Mr. Loughlin

I appreciate that there are difficulties, but provision is being made for improvement. My hon. Friend must be a little more patient and await the publication of the review in order to find out what will happen in future.