§ Mr. Gerald Bowden
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will announce a decision on the future siting of a neurosciences centre in the South East Thames region.
§ Mr. Mellor
I have today approved the proposal by South East Thames regional health authority to build a new neurosciences centre on Denmark hill, costing more than £27 million. It will bring together the two existing neurosciences units at the Brook hospital, Greenwich and at the Maudsley hospital, thus husbanding highly specialised professional expertise in order to improve the standard of treatment to patients. The centre will be on the Maudsley hospital site, but linked by a bridge to King's College hospital. The future siting of a neurosciences centre has been the subject of many years of study, with resulting uncertainty for the existing units at the Brook and the Maudsley. This decision will bring those years of uncertainty to an end. The health authorities want to improve the services now provided at the Brook hospital and I have asked the region to come back to me at the end of this year with their proposals for a range of hospital provision in the Greenwich district which will meet the needs of local people.