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Netley Abbey Hospital

Volume 897: debated on Monday 4 August 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the future of the military hospital at Netley Abbey in the parish of Hound in the county of Hampshire; and what prospect he has to offer the civilian employees of the hospital.

We plan to accomodate the Services Psychiatric Unit at the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital which is under construction at Woolwich. This move is planned for early 1978, and the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, will then close. A small number of the staff affected by the closure of Netley are in mobile grades and will be transferred to other posts within the Ministry of Defence. Of the remainder, over 20 per cent. are above the minimum retirement age. There will, however, be a significant number of redundancies and the only alternative employment the Ministry of Defence is likely to be able to offer is at Gosport or Portsmouth, about 15 miles away. It seems likely that any staff prepared to travel this distance would stand a reasonable chance of being given a job. In addition, clerical and typing vacancies are likely to be available in other Government Department offices in Southampton. We shall be in touch, at the appropriate time, with the local office of the Department of Employment to see what opportunities in the private sector can be offered to any of our employees made redundant.