§ Mrs. Jeger
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will make a statement about the future of the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital.
§ Mrs. Castle
I have given careful consideration to the representations made to me by my hon. Friend and many others and have myself visited the hospital. I am aware of the fine traditions of the hospital and of the loyalty it has aroused as a result of its services to women and am anxious to preserve the concept of treatment of women by women for which it stands. Unfortunately, this is a small, uneconomic building in an expensive location and the continued use of the hospital on its present site, together with its associated maternity home, would entail considerable capital expenditure, together with anuual running costs of over £1 million. I have decided therefore, that the best solution is to transfer the facilities provided by the hospital and maternity home to a district general hospital within the same area in an identifiable form which preserves the original concept of the hospital.
I have today asked the Camden and Islington AHA(T) to work out a plan to put this into effect as quickly as possible.