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Regional Hospital Boards (Expenditure)

Volume 828: debated on Tuesday 21 December 1971

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what discussions his Department is to have with regional hospital boards as to the spending on hospital facilities of the moneys announced by him on 22nd November.

The extra capital which I announced on 22nd November will be discussed in the normal manner between boards and my Department. The manner in which the extra revenue is spent is, within general priorities of which boards are aware, a matter for the individual hospital authorities to decide.—[Vol. 826, c. 957–64.]

I thank the Minister for that reply, but will he give encouragement to hospitals to spend this money on projects which will be of benefit to patients? I am thinking in particular of transport facilities to take patients out of the hospital environment in which so many have to spend so many years of their lives. This is the kind of project that is urgently needed, and encouragement from the Minister would be welcomed by hospitals and patients.

At first hearing it sounds as if the hon. Gentleman's sensible idea is one that he might suggest to the local League of Friends. I have already told hospital authorities my own priorities, which inevitably must be limited if they are to be effective.