§ 2. Mr. Michael
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will make it his policy that no final decision will be made on future hospital and health service provision in South Glamorgan and other Welsh health authority areas, pending the outcome of the consultative processes currently in progress; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Michael
The Minister will be aware of the excellence of the Royal Hamadryad hospital in my constituency, and of the fact that it appears on the consultative document very close to the beginning of the 10-year period, as does the children's ENT hospital in the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. Morgan). Will the hon. Gentleman confirm that the position of those hospitals will not be prejudiced and that no decisions in line with the policy that he has outlined will be taken until the consultative process is over? Will he reassure people who are worried that it comes so close to the beginning of the consultative process that that is the case?
Will the hon. Gentleman also confirm that no decision has been taken about the district hospital in the docks area which at the moment is blighting the only area of factory land available in the city?
§ Sir Raymond Gower
Will my hon. Friend take account of the fact that the Sully hospital building is among the best hospital buildings in the South Glamorgan area? Apparently the health authority has no further use for that hospital in the National Health Service. Will he look closely at this matter, because this is a splendid building which is admirably sited and has plenty of land? Surely it is highly desirable.
§ Mr. Livsey
With regard to Health Service provision, will the Minister seek to ease the financial situation facing low-paid ancillary workers in the National Health Service? Will he also look at the financial position of medical laboratory scientific officers, who are making a substantial contribution to the well-being of the National Health Service? In my constituency some Health Service ancillary workers are paid £60 a week. That is less than half the £135 per week that is the European Community poverty level wage.
§ Mr. Nicholas Bennett
Can my hon. Friend confirm that as part of the consultation procedures he will discuss with the health authorities in Wales the present poor record of putting services out to tender, compared with the position in the English regions?
Mr. Alan Williams
Has the Minister seen the representations made today to the Government by the three royal colleges of medicine that acute hospital services have almost reached breaking point? Is he also aware of an article in the British Medical Journal of 21 November by Russell Hopkin, the unit general manager at University hospital, Cardiff, saying that we face a similar crisis in Wales? In this context of an impending breakdown crisis, is it not incredible that there is a standing Welsh Office instruction to Welsh health authorities to try to save an extra 0.5 per cent. every year on spending in this very area of acute services?