HC Deb 19 March 1968 vol 761 c216
3. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Minister of Health why he has appointed a new Chairman of the South-West Metropolitan Hospital Board.

Mr. K. Robinson

To fill the vacancy arising on 1st July, 1968, from the intended resignation of the present chairman.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Will the Minister ask the new chairman to reconsider his predecessor's policy of closing much-loved smaller hospitals?

Mr. Robinson

No, Sir. I do not think that that could be represented as the policy of the outgoing chairman. It is the Government's policy to close small hospitals which are redundant as new and better facilities are provided. As I have said many times in the House, no small hospital is closed without my personal approval.

Sir A. V. Harvey

Is the Minister aware that in the case of the Congleton War Memorial Hospital we have been kept on a string for years? Now we are told that the Macclesfield hospital will be built some time in the 1970s. Why cannot the right hon. Gentleman be more definite?

Mr. Robinson

If the hon. Gentleman would like to put down a Question—

Mr. Speaker

Order. We are on the subject of the South-West Metropolitan Hospital Board.

Mr. Dean

Will the Minister bear in mind the advantage of the small hospitals in maintaining close links with the G.P.s and the local community?

Mr. Robinson

Where that obtains, it is always a factor that is taken into account.