asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, in view of the large elderly population in Bournemouth and the present shortage of hospital beds and operating theatres in the area, she is yet able to give a firm commitment that construction of the new Bournemouth District General Hospital will commence as planned in 1977.
It has not yet been possible to notify regional health authorities of the planning assumptions to be adopted for the years 1976–77 to 1978–79. When these are notified it will, of course, be for the authorities to determine the content of their health building programmes for these years, taking account of resources, my right hon. Friend's priorities, and the principles recently notified to them.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the present ratio between patients and the number of hospital beds suitable for acute medical and surgical cases in the Wessex regional hospital board area.
The ratio of acute beds to population in the Wessex Region is 29 per 1,000.