asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will bring forward plans to encourage the painting of murals in hospitals and other National Health Service buildings;
(2) if he will bring forward plans to preserve existing murals in hospitals and other National Health Service buildings;
(3) if he will bring forward legislation prohibiting the further destruction by district health authorities in paintings on National Health Service property which contain nudes;
(4) if he will issue guidelines to district health authorities calling on them to consult the Minister for the Arts before they consider destroying paintings.
We recognise the value of murals and other works of art in contributing to the internal environment of hospitals and other health buildings. The Department organised a conference at the King's Fund Centre in 1983 and has subsequently produced two publications, "Art in the NHS" and "The Arts in a Health District." I am placing copies of these in the Library. Decisions to display or to remove works of art are properly a matter for individual regional and district health authorities. Legislation would be quite inappropriate.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the cost to the National Health Service of the painting by the artist John Hewett of a nude Grecian mural at St. Bartholomew's hospital and its subsequent destruction by whitewash.
We do not collect this sort of information about local matters. The hon. Member may wish to approach City and Hackney health authority for this information.