§ 16. Mr. Swingler
asked the Minister of Health what progress is being made with plans to extend and improve the hospital services in North Staffordshire.
§ Mr. Braine
Four of the main schemes comprised in the plan for a major district general hospital at Stoke are now in progress or at an advanced stage of preparation.
§ Mr. Swingler
Will the hon. Gentleman say what is meant by "in progress"? Is he aware of complaints on the spot that in fact very little progress has been made, although these plans were agreed a long time ago? Will he be a little more specific about how much progress has been made?
§ Mr. Braine
Yes. There are four main schemes for North Staffordshire, including an accident unit with operating theatre suites and casualty wards at the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary. Completion is expected in the spring of 1964. There is a central out-patients department to serve hospitals at Stoke; tenders are due on 19th April. A new maternity unit, a boiler house and staff accommodation at the City General Hospital; working drawings are in preparation and are expected to be completed in the autumn. Building work will start in early 1964. For neuro-surgical and neurological wards in the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, working drawings are now being examined in the department with a view to authorising the board to go to tender.
There are a number of minor schemes, including a cobalt therapy unit at the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary. This is expected to be completed by July, 1963. Progress, I should have thought the hon. Member would agree, is very satisfactory indeed.