HC Deb 20 March 1967 vol 743 cc1024-5
12. Mr. Fowler

asked the Minister of Health when work will begin on the new general hospital for Dawley New Town in Shropshire.

Mr. Snow

I have nothing to add to the reply given by my right hon. Friend to my hon. Friend on 19th July, 1966.—[Vol. 732, c. 64-5.]

Mr. Fowler

Is my hon. Friend aware that a new town for 90,000 people is already being built in this area and that the Minister of Housing and Local Government has a proposal to more than double its size? In view of the length of time it takes to build a hospital, the Ministry of Health may well be caught with its pants down. Will my hon. Friend give an early and firm date for the beginning of this hospital?

Mr. Snow

I can assure my hon. Friend that he can teach me nothing about the requirements of overspill receiving areas, but I should tell him that a site has been provisionally reserved for the hospital and that, in the meantime, services are being provided at certain local hospitals, and a general range of hospital services in Shrewsbury.

Mr. More

Has the Minister secured the agreement of his colleague the Minister of Housing and Local Government to the time schedule for the hospital? Is it appreciated that unless these hospital services are provided in good time it will not be possible to expand the new town or get it off the ground properly at all?

Mr. Snow

This is largely a matter for the regional boards, which have to determine their priorities in these matters, but I can appreciate the anxieties of people in these new towns.

Mr. Biffen

In view of the widespread concern throughout Shropshire that the medical facilities will be under great strain with the building of the new town, may I ask whether the Parliamentary Secretary can give an undertaking that the general hospital at Whitchurch will not be closed?

Mr. Snow

I should like to have a look at that point.