HC Deb 16 November 1959 vol 613 cc89-91W
Lord Balniel

asked the Minister of Health whether he is now in a position to make a statement about the Government's hospital building programme.

Mr. Walker-Smith

Yes. It is proposed, subject to the voting by Parliament of the necessary funds, that £31 million shall be spent on capital development in the hospital service in England and Wales in 1961–62, compared with £25½ million for next year, 1960–61.

I have asked hospital boards to complete the planning of a number of additional major projects. These include, in the sphere of new building, the start of a new St. Mary's maternity hospital in Manchester and a new mental deficiency hospital in Northamptonshire, and further substantial phases of the new Cambridge teaching hospital, West Wales General Hospital and Peterborough Hospital.

Large extensions proposed for existing general hospitals include a new medical block at the West Middlesex Hospital; maternity departments at the North Middlesex Hospital and at the City General Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent; and a new surgical block at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport. New operating theatres and a physiotherapy department are to be provided at St. James's Hospital, Leeds, and new operating theatres at the London Hospital. There will be additions or improvements at the Westminster Hospital; the Royal South Hants Hospital, Southampton; Leicester General Hospital; Torbay Hospital; and the General Hospital, Birmingham. A new out-patient department is to be provided for University College Hospital, and for the Bristol Royal Infirmary. An out-patient department at Walton Hospital, Liverpool, included in the programme will be designed by the Ministry's Design Unit as the first of a number of development projects which will embody and demonstrate the Ministry's views on the design of hospital buildings and provide information about cost. Provision is also being made for alterations necessary on bringing the Royal Naval Hospital, Chatham, into civilian use when its use by the Royal Navy ceases in 1961.

There are a number of large projects in the field of mental health. They include a new psychiatric unit at Darlington Memorial Hospital; the first phase of a unit for longer-stay mentally ill patients at Crookhill Hall, near Doncaster; and additions or improvements to the Northgate (Morpeth), Royal Earls-wood (Redhill), and Coldeast (Southampton) Mental Deficiency Hospitals. Some adaptations of wards and other improvements for the accommodation of severely subnormal children are to be carried out at Queen Mary's Hospital for Children, Carshalton, and a new reception unit, out-patient department, and research and teaching unit provided at the Fountain Hospital, Tooting.

Last year I informed the House that I was considering with the hospital boards concerned and in the light of advice from the University Grants Committee what dental hospital projects should be undertaken to increase the output of the dental schools, as recommended by the McNair Committee on the recruitment of dentists, in addition to the new Dental Hospitals at University College Hospital and Birmingham already in the Government's programme. Planning is now proceeding on schemes for this purpose at King's College Hospital; the London Hospital; and at the dental hospitals at Bristol, Newcastle. Leeds and Manchester. Development at Liverpool is also being considered, and a new dental hospital will form part of the new teaching hospital at Cardiff for which an architectural competition is now in progress.

In addition I am considering various other proposals in regard to the planning of large projects made to me by hospital boards, and hope to announce shortly a further list of projects on which planning may now proceed.