Hospitals

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th February 1988.

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Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael , Cardiff South and Penarth 12:00 am, 29th February 1988

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will ensure that consideration of future hospital plans in the counties of Wales involves adequate opportunities for public comment based on full information on (a) the impact on services to patients, (b) the relationship to community medical services and general practice and (c) detailed financial appraisals.

Photo of Mr Ian Grist Mr Ian Grist , Cardiff Central

This is already accepted policy.

Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael , Cardiff South and Penarth

I am grateful to the Minister for that reply. Does he share my concern that the financial appraisal that was promised by the South Glamorgan health authority when it launched its plans last October is still not available? That appraisal was promised originally for December, and then for January. In the light of the delay in providing that financial appraisal, it was promised that there would be an extended period for consultation. Will the Minister press the health authority to expedite the provision of that information, without which, as I am sure the Minister will agree, it is impossible to make sense of the health authority's recommendations?

Photo of Mr Ian Grist Mr Ian Grist , Cardiff Central

As far as I am aware, the consultation process is proceeding normally. If the hon. Gentleman has a point that he would like to make to me afterwards, I shall be willing to listen.

Photo of Mr Rhodri Morgan Mr Rhodri Morgan , Cardiff West

In relation to the problems of South Glamorgan, will the Minister comment on the severe shortage of cardiology facilities, which occasioned last week's extraordinary announcement that the health authority intended to spend more than £500,000 on contracting out operations to a private sector hospital? Will he comment on that issue, in the light of the fact that, before the 1983 general election, the former Secretary of State promised that cardiology facilities in South Glamorgan — intended to serve the whole of south Wales—would be doubled from their existing level and yet, six years later, that promise has still not been made good?

Photo of Mr Ian Grist Mr Ian Grist , Cardiff Central

I am a little concerned that the hon. Gentleman will not have a supplementary left for his question 21 on this very subject. It is worth pointing out that South Glamorgan was given £385,000 by the Department in the current year to conclude its programme of 600 operations. We shall wait until the year end to see how South Glamorgan achieves that.

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

What would my hon. Friend's attitude be to proposals from specialist companies to build and run a new hospital on the waterfront in Cardiff—or, for that matter, anywhere else—so emulating the excellent success already achieved by the new kidney dialysis units in Wales?

Photo of Mr Ian Grist Mr Ian Grist , Cardiff Central

With interest, but clearly we would have to consider such a proposal when it arrived.

Photo of Mr Donald Coleman Mr Donald Coleman , Neath

In light of the criticisms voiced about West Glamorgan health authority's proposals to re-site the Neath general hospital, will the Minister undertake to ensure that when representations are made to him regarding the siting of that hospital the fact that there has not been adequate public consultation is borne very much in mind?

Photo of Mr Ian Grist Mr Ian Grist , Cardiff Central

Clearly, all representations will be borne in mind, and the hon. Gentleman's views on this matter are well known.