§ 38. Miss Boothroyd
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he expects the new West Bromwich and District General Hospital in Sandwell to be opened as planned in October; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Moyle
There have been delays in building, and it is now expected that the new hospital will be fully operational by summer 1978. There have been local reports that the delay is due to difficulties in recruiting consultant staff because of the phasing out of pay beds. I cannot accept that the availability of pay beds is a major factor in the attraction of staff, particularly as in the long term all pay beds will be withdrawn under the provisions of the Health Services Act 1976.