HC Deb 10 November 1970 vol 806 c174
1. Mr. Judd

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will make a statement on the arrangements which have been made for the transport of patients, visitors and staff to and from district general hospitals following the closure of smaller local hospitals.

The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security (Mr. Michael Alison)

Boards have been asked to give particular attention to any expected transport difficulties and to enlist the help of transport undertakings to overcome them.

Mr. Judd

I thank the Minister for that helpful reply, but will he undertake that his Department will do everything possible to encourage hospital authorities to answer the problems which arise because of the anxiety and inconvenience which people may suffer in this respect?

Mr. Alison

Hospital boards are alert to this need, but I note the hon. Gentleman's request.

Miss Quennell

If my hon. Friend aware that it takes seven hours for constituents from certain parts of my constituency to travel by public transport, for example, from Headley parish to Basingstoke, to the new general hospital, and does he consider this reasonable?

Mr. Alison

The problem is not a new one, but accessibility is now a prime factor in the location of new hospitals.