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Reconstruction Programme

Oral Answers to Questions — Hospitals – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Somerville Hastings Mr Somerville Hastings , Barking 12:00 am, 16th December 1957

asked the Minister of Health how many schemes of hospital reconstruction costing £20,000 or more were sanctioned by his Department in 1956; and what was the average time between sanction and commencement of building.

Photo of Mr Derek Walker-Smith Mr Derek Walker-Smith , Hertfordshire East

Two hundred and eleven such schemes were included in hospital boards' approved estimates for 1956–57. I regret that the information asked for in the second part of the Question is not available.

Photo of Mr Somerville Hastings Mr Somerville Hastings , Barking

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman not aware that there is a good deal of dissatisfaction in the hospital world because of the long delay between the approval of a scheme and the ability to start actual work on it? Will he give consideration to whether something cannot be done in his Department to speed up matters accordingly?

Photo of Mr Derek Walker-Smith Mr Derek Walker-Smith , Hertfordshire East

Anything that can be done in my Department to speed matters will most certainly be done. I think the hon. Gentleman will find that the time which is taken between authorisation and the actual physical work of building is occupied by such matters as getting out the plans, detailed working drawings, bills of quantity, tendering, and so on, each of which in the case of some of these large schemes is inevitably a fairly elaborate procedure.