HC Deb 22 November 1977 vol 939 c1286
1. Mr. Tim Renton

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will have consultations with the relevant regional health authority in order to speed up a decision regarding the building of a new nucleus hospital to replace Cuckfield Hospital.

The Minister of State, Department of Health and Social Security (Mr. Roland Moyle)

My Department is discussing preliminary proposals for this project with the South West Thames Regional Health Authority. I am not aware that there is any avoidable delay in reaching decisions.

Mr. Renton

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that Cuckfield Hospital, where many wards are still in Nissen huts that were built before the last war, will soon require a large capital input if there is not to be a new nucleus hospital, but that this will not be money well spent if there is to be such a new hospital? That is the dilemma facing the authority. May we have a firm commitment from the Minister that he will get on with the working papers early next year?

Mr. Moyle

I can give the hon. Gentleman a commitment that we shall proceed with the discussion of the plans not in early 1978, but now. The area health authority is discussing with the regional health authority the question of upgrading of Cuckfield and an improvement of the operating theatres as an interim measure.