HC Deb 06 April 1971 vol 815 cc231-2
14. Mr. Scott-Hopkins

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what criteria are used to judge whether a medical group practice in a rural area qualifies for grant for the building of a medical centre containing consulting rooms and ancillary offices.

Mr. Alison

There are no rigid criteria governing the provision of health centres in rural areas: each case is considered on its merits, including the needs of the patients and the organisation generally of medical services in the area. I shall write to my hon. Friend about the particular case which I understand he has in mind.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that reply, but will he not agree that in some rural areas it is particularly difficult for the small number of doctors, who cover quite a large area, with not all that many patients, to find the necessary finance to set up these worth-while and necessary centres? In this connection, I refer to such places at Tideswell in my constitu- ency. Will he do what he can to encourage this development and see what can be done to make the load easier

Mr. Alison

I note my hon. Friend's suggestion, and I shall write to him about the Tideswell case which he specified.