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Mid-Sussex (Hospital)

Volume 887: debated on Tuesday 25 February 1975

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17.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she will make a statement on the possibility of a new general hospital being built in the Mid-Sussex area.

I assume that the hon. Member has in mind the needs of the new Cuckfield and Crawley health district. He will be reassured to learn that a joint working party, consisting of representatives of the regional and area health authorities and the health district's management team, is now studying this district's immediate health needs and making long-term development plans.

Is the Minister aware that discussions about the new general hospital have been continuing for 10 years and that no firm plans have been made? Is he further aware that Mid-Sussex lies in a major growth area and that, on the basis of projected population growth, 760 new hospital beds will be needed in the area by 1981? Where are those beds to come from?

I am aware that there is an expansion in the population of the area concerned. I look forward to the hon. Gentleman's support for the increases in public expenditure for the hospital building programme that he seems to envisage.