HC Deb 29 March 1976 vol 908 cc874-5
7. Mr. Nicholas Edwards

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will consult the Dyfed Area Health Authority about its plans for the future of the County Hospital, Haverfordwest, in the light of the recommendation of his Consultative Document on Policies and Priorities in the Health Service that the first priority be given to the needs of the elderly.

The Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Barry Jones)

The area health authority has not yet made firm plans. It will shortly be conducting consultations on what hospital closures and changes of use will need to follow the opening of Withybush hospital. These may well involve the County Hospital.

Mr. Edwards

In view of the existence of a massive asset that needs to be effectively utilised, in the shape of the County Hospital, and bearing in mind the acceptance that the treatment of the elderly is a top priority, does it not make sense to use the County Hospital for that purpose, and is this not a proper application of admittedly limited resources?

Mr. Barry Jones

I am glad to hear the hon. Gentleman's reference to limited resources, because I constantly hear him asking for more public expenditure. It is for the area health authority in the first instance to propose how best it can provide services within the limits of its resources. I understand that the area health authority's consultation document will recognise the needs of the elderly and discuss alternative ways of meeting them.