Maternity Beds, Yarmouth and Lowestoft

Oral Answers to Questions — Hospitals – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th February 1966.

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Photo of Mr James Prior Mr James Prior , Lowestoft 12:00 am, 7th February 1966

asked the Minister of Health why the new maternity unit at Northgate, Yarmouth, has been delayed.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

This scheme has not been delayed and building work is expected, as planned, to begin later this year.

Photo of Mr James Prior Mr James Prior , Lowestoft

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that that is contrary to local information, in that the regional hospital board was told to go ahead with a pre- fabricated building, which went out to tender, that it received tenders and was then told by the Ministry that it could not go ahead?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

There were possible delays and difficulties, we felt, which could have arisen if the building method originally proposed had been adopted, and it has now been decided to build conventionally. But I am very glad to have this opportunity of setting right the local misunderstanding of this matter.

Photo of Mr James Prior Mr James Prior , Lowestoft

asked the Minister of Health what action he proposes to take to provide more maternity beds at Lowestoft.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer my hon. Friend gave him on 19th July last.

Photo of Mr James Prior Mr James Prior , Lowestoft

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that that answer gave no satisfaction at all in my constituency, that this is a very serious problem, and that the delay in the building of the new maternity ward at Great Yarmouth is giving rise to a great deal of concern in my constituency? The Prime Minister himself, when Leader of the Opposition, went on record as saying that he would do everything in his power to speed up maternity accommodation. Why has he not done so?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

I understood that the hon. Gentleman accepted that the right solution was to build at Great Yarmouth, and I assure him that the building of the new unit there is expected to start in August and to be finished in 1968.