HC Deb 06 December 1978 vol 959 cc698-9W
Mr. Rooker

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on current and future provision of National Health Service eye hospital services in Birmingham.

Mr. Moyle:

The Birmingham area health authority—teaching—is according the highest priority to the expansion and improvement of eye services in Birmingham, and necessary funds have already been earmarked. A new ophthalmic unit of 30 beds will be provided at East Birmingham hospital and the existing ophthalmic unit at Selly Oak hospital will be expanded from 19 to 32 beds. Both these expansions will occur in the next financial year. The equipment is already there and the necessary staff is being recruited. These two units will complement the existing eye hospital which will maintain its central reference role. Urgent consideration is being given to the re-provision of the existing eye hospital on a district general hospital site. Also the feasibility of improving the present facilities of the hospital is being considered.