HC Deb 13 February 1967 vol 741 cc72-3
26. Mr. Onslow

asked the Minister of Health why he announced his proposals for the construction of a new District General Hospital at Frimley Park, Camberley, by means of a Press statement.

Mr. K. Robinson

As part of a wide-ranging experiment in more economical hospital design, I proposed that my Department should design and build new district general hospitals at both Frimley and Bury St. Edmunds. The two regional hospital boards welcomed my proposals and considered that a public announcement would be helpful. I accordingly issued my Press statement of 19th January.

Mr. Onslow

Is the Minister aware that his Press statement made very little impact in getting the news to the public, since no copy was sent to the local authority, local papers or the four hon. Members who went to see him on this subject? If he wants them to accept this kind of thing, why does he not let them know?

Mr. Robinson

I do not know whether the hon. Member is suggesting that I might have announced it in the House, but it is not customary to announce in the House of Commons decisions to start building particular hospitals. The Press statement was distributed, so far as I am aware, in the normal way. It may be that the local paper did not pick it up; it may have been at fault.