HC Deb 02 March 1981 vol 1000 cc3-4
2. Mr. Best

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement about the facilities and completion of Ysbyty Gwynedd district general hospital.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

The first phase of Ysbyty Gwynedd will provide most of the services found at a modern district general hospital with the exception of obstetric, gynaecology and paediatric services, which will continue for the present at the St. David's hospital, Bangor. The Gwynedd health authority intends, however, to move these services to Ysbyty Gwynedd and is currently preparing plans to do so in the second phase construction. Completion of the main contract for Ysbyty Gwynedd phase I is expected in May this year, and the commissioning programme provides for the hospital coming into use early in 1982.

Mr. Best

I welcome my hon. Friend's statement and the fact that the Government are spending more in real terms on the National Health Service than have any previous Government. However, is he aware of the great strength of feeling in my constituency that there should be at least one community hospital on Anglesey? Will he do everything possible to convince my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and other members of the Government of the great need for community hospitals in order to bring medical care closer to the people?

Mr. Roberts

I appreciate my hon. Friend's views, but he will know that the Caernarvon and Anglesey hospital, which Ysbyty Gwynedd is to replace, served both counties and was highly regarded on both sides of the Menai Strait. The new hospital will have 530 beds and will have cost £23 million. It will have all the modern facilities that our people in that part of the world will require.

Mr. Wigley

Does the Minister accept that to get the maximum benefit out of the new hospital requires a substantial increase in joint care planning between the health authority and the social services department in the area of Gwynedd, a function that is way behind in Wales compared with most parts of England? What initiatives will the Government take to ensure that joint care planning gets off the ground in Gwynedd?

Mr. Roberts

The area health authority and the county social services department have a co-terminosity by which I lay great store, because I believe that from that co-terminosity co-operation will spring. It is primarily for the area health authority and the social services department to collaborate on future planning under guidance from the Government.