asked the Minister of Health what is the total amount of the decrease in the financial content of the hospital building programme 1963 to 1974, shown by the latest revision, compared with the programme previously agreed for the Birmingham Regional Hospital Board; what schemes have now been excluded until the period 1970 to 1974; and what schemes orginally included in the period up to 1972–73 have now been deferred beyond 1974.
§ Mr. Barber
The financial content of the hospital building programme for this region has not been decreased, as implied in the hon. Member's Question. On the contrary, this year's revision shows an increase for the region of £18 million compared with what was originally proposed.
As I have previously explained, with changes in priorities, involving the development of new projects in the national programme and the bringing forward and the enlargement of others, it has been necessary, despite an increased hospital programme in real terms, to defer some schemes. The schemes suggested as likely to start within the original programme but now beyond it and expected to start before the end of the ten-year programme of the present plan are as follows:—Rubery new hospital—main acute wards.City General Hospital, Stoke—acute ward block.Geriatric unit, maternity provision and out-patient services in Ludlow.Copthorne, Shrewsbury—second phase of new hospital.
None of the schemes which were in the programme following the first revision has been deferred beyond 1974.20W
Many schemes now differ considerably in scope from what was earlier envisaged, and are likely to change further.