HC Deb 20 December 1971 vol 828 cc1087-8
2. Mr. Nicholas Edwards

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has arranged for any hospital building programmes to be brought forward in the next two years; and what he estimates will be the total expenditure in Wales during that period on new hospital construction.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

In the last 13 months the Government have made available an additional £3¾ million for spending on hospital building in Wales in the next two financial years. During this period, some £19 million in all, at current prices, will be spent in Wales on hospital building, including the payment of associated professional fees and equipment.

Mr. Edwards

I thank my hon. Friend for that welcome news. Would he not agree that there are few higher priorities for Government expenditure? Is there any prospect of a speeding up in the construction of Withybush Hospital, which has been in the planing stage for almost as long as anyone can remember?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his comments. It is hoped to begin work on the new Withybush Hospital in the coming financial year. The board had planned that work on the new Withybush Hospital would start in the quarter ending December, 1972, but it is now understood that it is doubtful whether that target can be attained and it is therefore improbable that that date will be advanced.

Mr. Coleman

I welcome what the hon. Gentleman said. Is there any prospect of the next phase of the Neath General Hospital being developed?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I will look at that and write to the hon. Gentleman about it.