HC Deb 09 March 1970 vol 797 cc906-7
27. Mr. Goodhew

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he proposes to authorise the building of the two new operating theatres at St. Albans City Hospital.

Dr. John Dunwoody

The assessment of priorities and the planning of capital developments within its region are matters for the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.

Mr. Goodhew

That is exactly what the Minister told me in a letter which arrived on the notice board a few minutes before I arrived here this afternoon. Is he aware that the two existing operating theatres are totally inadequate for a hospital of the size of St. Albans Hospital and that sometimes there are long delays leading to considerable unnecessary suffering in orthopaedic cases and the waiting list continues to extend?

Dr. Dunwoody

I said exactly this in the letter because I do not think it appropriate for my Department to issue central directions with reference to an issue such as this. The regional board appreciates that there is a need for more operating theatres in this hospital and is having discussions with the hospital management committee, but I cannot say what the outcome of those discussions will be.