Durham

Oral Answers to Questions — Hospitals – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th December 1954.

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Mr. Slater:

asked the Minister of Health to what extent the intake of mental-illness patients in the Durham county area has gone up within the last two years; and how such figures compare with the rest of the country for the same period.

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

Admissions to Cherry Knowle and Winterton hospitals in 1953 exceeded those in 1951 by about 15 per cent. and 42 per cent., respectively. The comparable figures for all mental hospitals was 14 per cent.

Mr. Slater:

Is the Minister satisfied that we in Durham are well accommodated for receiving mental patients, particularly when, as the Minister is aware, the mental hospitals at Cherry Knowle and Winterton are seriously overcrowded? Is he satisfied with what is being given to us in order to increase the accommodation, which we desire to do?

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

I am not satisfied, and I have given details of what is being done in Durham in this House and to the hon. Member on a number of occasions.

Mr. Slater:

asked the Minister of Health what extensions to existing hospitals have been agreed upon in Durham county for the year 1955; if his Department will proceed with the building of a new county hospital in Durham; and when such a scheme will be commenced.

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

I have not yet received the regional hospital board's programme of new capital works for 1955–56, but I can say that nine schemes of improvement or extension already in progress will be continued next year. With regard to the second and third parts of the Question, I will bear these claims in mind, but I have no statement to make.

Mr. Slater:

Is the Minister aware that this project for a new county hospital in Durham has been earmarked for a long time; yet we still seem to be right back where we were and no one seems to take the least notice of the demand in the county for the provision of a new county hospital? Will he do what he can to further this scheme?

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

In principle, it has been agreed to provide new hospitals at Peterlee and Newton Aycliffe, but there are many other places in that regional board area, particularly West Cumberland, which also have very high claims indeed.

Photo of Mr Thomas Reid Mr Thomas Reid , Swindon

Is the Minister aware of the fact that a new hospital for Swindon has been agreed in principle and that all the preliminaries have been prepared for years? Is the Minister forcing on the Government the need to have a proper system of priorities in the allocations for new hospitals?

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

In Swindon, there is a very considerable need, but it is not in Durham.