§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action he is taking following the Stoker report about the clinical research centre.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
The Stoker report recommended that a multi-speciality national centre for postgraduate medical education and research should be formed by merging the MRC clinical research centre at Northwick park and the royal postgraduate medical school at Hammersmith hospital with basic medical science as an integral part of the new institution. This recommendation has been approved in principle by the Medical Research Council, which has so informed my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services and me. Detailed studies of the ways and means of implementing it are now being undertaken by the council in collaboration with the other bodies directly concerned with the proposal. No decision can, of course, be taken until these studies are complete.
The Government note this interesting and constructive initiative by the Medical Research Council, aimed at creating a new national centre of excellence in clinical research by merging these two institutions. If a practical and cost-effective scheme can be devised, it will open up new possibilities with the potential to be of great benefit, not only to medical research and the development of medical care but to our pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries. The Government will consider the results of the detailed studies, and the council's conclusions, when they are presented, with particular interest.