asked the Minister of Health why he refused to accept a proposal for building a 44-bed unit at Tone Vale Hospital, Norton Fitzwarren, although, compared with its statutory accommodation, the hospital is overcrowded to the extent of 40·1 per cent. in the male, and 57·3 per cent. in the female, wards.
This scheme has not yet proceeded because it was not included in the regional hospital board's list of first priority schemes to be met out of the "mental million." I should add that the hon. Member's figures of overcrowding are inaccurate.
Is the Minister aware that the figures for overcrowding which I quoted were supplied by the hospital and, in any case, in many of the wards it is difficult to walk between the beds? Although it is only 50 years old and comparatively modern, there is a feeling of considerable frustration that the hospital cannot really be carried on properly. Will the right hon. Gentleman bear this in mind?
As the hon. Member knows, this was not one of the four major plans that the board put forward to me and which has been accepted for provision out of the "mental million." I understand that it comes high in the thoughts of the board in what we might call the second division, but the board must decide what comes in front of it.