asked the Minister of Health (1) what sum was included by the West Cornwall Hospital Management Committee in their budget for the current financial year for improvements to Barncoose Hospital; and what sum was approved by the regional hospital board;
(2) what sums have been spent in capital expenditure on improvements to Barncoose Hospital, Cornwall, in each of the last two financial years.
The only capital scheme proposed in relation to this hospital was the reconditioning of accommodation to take aged mental patients at an estimated cost of £12,000. It was not possible to fit this into the capital programme. Capital expenditure in 1952–53 was £750 and £5,032 was spent on building maintenance in that year. The capital expenditure in 1953–54 was £434, but the figure of expenditure on building maintenance is not yet available.
Will the Minister bear in mind that while there is considerable local pride in the work of the geriatric unit at this hospital, there is considerable apprehension at the wretched state of parts of the building which was inherited from the Public Assistance committee—which was, perhaps, no fault of that committee? Will he do all that he can to speed the improvement in the conditions of the building?
Yes. I recognise the claims of this hospital, and, indeed, of all those that were formerly Public Assistance institutions and which form a special problem within the hospital service.