HC Deb 06 April 1971 vol 815 cc236-7
20. Mr. Dormand

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the expected completion date of the outpatient facilities at Peterlee Health Centre; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Alison

Present estimates are that the facilities may be complete by spring, 1972. It has, after all, not proved possible to co-ordinate their completion with that of the in-patient accommodation at Ryhope Hospital, but the Newcastle Regional Hospital Board will make arrangements for out-patient services now available at Leeholme Hospital to be maintained there or elsewhere until the new premises are ready at Peterlee Health Centre.

Mr. Dormand

I detect a certain caginess in that reply. Does the Minister agree that it is of the utmost importance that the completion of out-patient facilities at Peterlee be timed to coincide with the closure of Leeholme Hospital? Is he aware that many of my constituents view with the gravest concern and suspicion the delay being experienced? Will he bring pressure to bear to see that the co-ordination which he mentioned is kept to by the authorities concerned?

Mr. Alison

I share the hon. Gentleman's disappointment that co-ordination has not been possible between the old hospital and the new health centre, but, as I reassured him, we shall make quite certain that, parallel facilities will be available, at least until the new heath centre is complete.