HC Deb 06 July 1964 vol 698 cc10-1W
67. Mr. Grey

asked the Minister of Health what was the total amount of the decrease in the financial content of the hospital building programme 1963–74 shown by the latest revision as compared with the programme previously agreed for the Newcastle Regional Hospital Board; which schemes have now been excluded until the period 1970–74; and which of the schemes originally 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 £8 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 enlargements 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 revised plan are as follows:— Darlington Memorial Hospital—main development. Newcastle General Hospital—new 100-bed ward block. Child psychiatry unit in Sunderland. Ayclifi'e Hospital—extension to 700 beds. The schemes included in the programme following the first revision which are now likely to start some time after 1974 are as follows:— Shotley Bridge General Hospital—casualty department and part of X-ray department. Sunderland General Hospital—new ward blocks. West Hartlepool General Hospital—psychiatric unit.

Many schemes now differ considerably in scope from what was earlier envisaged, and are likely to change further.