HC Deb 09 March 1970 vol 797 cc907-8
29. Mr. Fry

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will consider siting a pilot scheme for a community hospital in Wellingborough, and in the interim ensure that existing hospital and ancillary services are not reduced.

Dr. John Dunwoody

Study of the community hospital concept is at a very early stage and it is too soon to say whether a trial scheme will be undertaken at Wellingborough. I understand that the Oxford Regional Hospital Board has consulted the hon. Member on a proposal to transfer the existing services of the Highfield Hospital, Wellingborough to the Park Hospital, Wellingborough, but it has not made any recommendation to me on this.

Mr. Fry

I am grateful for not having a completely negative one from the Minister. Is he aware that there is real concern in the town—that where we have an officially expanding town there is great danger of its hospital and ancillary services contracting? Many of my constituents are asking if this is the way Labour Government works.

Dr. Dunwoody

I appreciate that there Is concern in Wellingborough about this issue, but the hon. Member will know that there are special problems because of the size of the community and its proximity to larger hospitals with the services they offer, but I will bear the point in mind in any decisions taken by my Department.