HC Deb 02 March 1981 vol 1000 cc12-3
11. Sir Anthony Meyer

asked the Secretary of State for Wales when he expects to give authority for work to begin on a new community hospital at Mold.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

I shall announce the health building programme for 1981–82 soon after the forthcoming White Paper on public expenditure has been published next week, but I cannot comment beforehand on individual schemes.

Sir Anthony Meyer

Is my hon. Friend aware that the people of Mold, who have raised a large sum of money by truly heroic efforts and voluntary activities, will be eagerly and impatiently awaiting the Minister's decision in this matter?

Mr. Roberts

I certainly appreciate the importance of the scheme and am fully aware of the strength of local support for it. It is the health authority's top priority. I know that the hospital's league of friends has been very active in raising funds for the hospital. I take this opportunity to say how greatly this is appreciated. This is a first-class example of the role that the voluntary sector can play.

Mr. Barry Jones

A start on this important project will help the flagging fortunes of the North-East Wales construction industry. Will the Minister confirm that the hospital, when built, will adequately cater for the township of Buckley in my constituency?

Mr. Roberts

All concerned in the planning and preparation of this scheme have recognised its priority. There has been no delay in bringing it to the present stage. The total cost will be £1½ million and it will take two and a quarter years to complete.

Dr. Roger Thomas

Has there been a change in hospital building policy at the Welsh Office in favour of community or general practitioner hospitals rather than making sure that all our health areas have up-to-date district general hospitals in which, above all, there are far better infant mortality rates?

Mr. Roberts

There has been no change in policy. We have a number of district general hospitals yet to build. I think particularly of the hospitals at Wrexham, Bridgend and Llanelli.