HC Deb 18 March 1997 vol 292 c716
8. Mr. Dykes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to visit the Royal National Orthopaedic hospital, Stanmore, to discuss the future major development plans. [19168]

Mr. Horam

I shall be having a meeting shortly with the chairman and chief executive of the Royal National Orthopaedic hospital trust, which is working up a business case for the redevelopment of the hospital.

Mr. Dykes

I thank my hon. Friend for the thoughtful way in which he has responded to the many submissions on the hospital's future that have been made in recent months and, indeed, years. I shall also be present at that meeting on Tuesday at 4 o'clock. The overwhelming opinion—local and wider opinion—is in favour of the hospital remaining on the same site. To allow the necessary funding to be made available in the future and to ensure that the excess of old buildings is reduced and that the modern footprint and curtilage is properly paid for, will he ensure that the regional health authority speeds up its authorisation decisions to get that money under way?

Mr. Horam

I am interested in what my hon. Friend says, and I look forward to that meeting. The business case is at a fairly early stage. I am conscious of the orthopaedic hospital's extraordinary record over many years. About 30 or 40 per cent. of all the orthopaedic surgeons in the country have been trained at the Stanmore hospital at one time or another. I am sure that my hon. Friend, who strongly supports the hospital, is very proud of that record.