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Hospital, Gillingham (Equipment And Stores)

Volume 644: debated on Wednesday 12 July 1961

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20.

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what happened to the medical equipment and stores at the Royal Naval Hospital, Gillingham, when it was vacated by the Royal Navy.

In accordance with the normal practice when an establishment is closed down, all the equipment and stores were carefully surveyed. Serviceable medical equipment and stores were either transferred to other R.N. medical establishments or returned to R.N. storage depots for further use. Unserviceable equipment or stores, including small quantities of drugs whose limited life had expired were destroyed, or were dealt with as scrap. Fixed hospital fittings were handed over to the Ministry of Health.

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Is he aware that allegations were made by persons who were employed at the time of the hand-over of the hospital to the National Health Service that they had burned or otherwise disposed of drugs and medical equipment to the value of £7,000, and that the burning and destruction took no less than fourteen days? I accept that in a complete evacuation such as took place here much of the equipment which had been there for many years was useless, but will my hon. Friend ask for a stock list of what should have been transferred and compare it with the figure he subsequently received?

My information is that nothing serviceable was destroyed, but if my hon. Friend has any evidence to the contrary I will certainly consider it and look at the stock list position.