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Volume 181: debated on Tuesday 20 November 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what percentage the cost of transferring neurosciences from Shooter's Hill to Denmark Hill has risen since the decision was taken; and what proportion of the South East Thames regional annual capital budget this represents.

Nineteen per cent, Sir. The costs are borne over a period of time and not solely by the regional health authority.

Would I be right in saying that the capital budget for South East Thames is between £50 million and £60 million and that the cost of moving neurosciences four miles is between £50 million and £60 million? There are already six or seven neuroscience units in the inner London area and people in my constituency and further out would prefer to have services available to them. Will my hon. Friend confirm that, or shall I take up this matter with the chairman of South East Thames regional health authority before going to independent auditors?

My hon. Friend should take up any discontent with the chairman of the regional health authority. He should be aware that the reasoning for the concentration of neurosciences on the Maudsley site was that it was a more efficient use of clinical resources and involved lower cost. I suspect that neither of those considerations will have changed.