HC Deb 19 March 1968 vol 761 cc216-7
14. Sir J. Langford-Holt

asked the Minister of Health whether he will make a further statement on the fire which took place at Shelton Hospital, Shrewsbury, and his future plans for the hospital.

Mr. K. Robinson

I have decided to set up art inquiry under Section 70 of the National Health Service Act, 1946, into the circumstances leading to this tragedy. The names of the persons to be appointed to hold the inquiry and the precise terms of reference will be announced as soon as possible. The Regional Hospital Board intends to restore the burnt-out ward and to continue its policy of generally improving the buildings.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

Can the right hon. Gentleman give some indication of how long this inquiry will take and when we shall hear the results?

Mr. Robinson

No, Sir, I cannot do so at the moment. I shall ask the inquiry, when set up, to conduct the investigations with due expedition.

Mr. Maurice Macmillan

Will the results of the inquiry be published? A number of recent inquiries have been private to the Ministry, and dealt with by statement.

Mr. Robinson

The results of this inquiry will be made public. Indeed, the inquiry will be held in public, although whoever conducts it will have discretion to take evidence in private in certain circumstances.