§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Mark Robinson)
The in-patient waiting lists for hospitals in the Taff Ely area at 30 September 1986 totalled 2,463. Comparable figures in 1979 and 1983 were 3,488 and 3,420 respectively. Relevant out-patient figures on 30 September 1986 totalled 4,842. The figures in 1979 and 1983 were 2,791 and 3,283.
§ Mr. John
Does the Minister accept that if one combines in-patient and out-patient waiting lists, one finds that in the last seven years there has been no significant difference in the numbers of patients awaiting treatment in this area?
When will he take a significant step towards cutting those waiting lists?
§ Mr. Robinson
First, I do not accept what the hon. Gentleman says. There has been a 25 per cent. increase in in-patients and a 16 per cent. increase in out-patients since 1979. As for the waiting list initiative, the hon. Gentleman will be aware that the mid-Glamorgan health authority has been able to bid and that we have been able to make funds available. Those funds are benefiting the Taff Ely area.
§ Mr. Gwilym Jones
As my constituency borders Taff Ely, may I suggest a single improvement to my hon. Friend? He will remember that at Welsh Question Time in December last he was able to tell me that it had been agreed that Hywel Rowlands, a convicted killer, at present in Whitchurche hospital, would be moved. Will my hon. Friend now join me in demanding that the Home Office should take urgent action to fulfil its promise?
§ Mr. Robinson
I am aware of my hon. Friend's concern but, as he knows, that is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.