HC Deb 01 November 1955 vol 545 cc824-5
16. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what has been the increase in the provision of surgical beds in the Dunfermline and West Fife Hospital since 1948.

Mr. J. N. Browne

There are ninety-one surgical beds. There has been no change in this number since 1948, but a casualty block of twenty beds is in the course of construction.

Mr. Hamilton

Is the Joint Under-Secretary aware that the general hospital accommodation position in West Fife is thoroughly unsatisfactory? Is he aware that a simple hernia case in West Fife has, on occasion, to wait as long as three years, and that in the meantime further complications may well develop? Would he have a look at the whole position in West Fife with a view to giving us much more capital expenditure on hospital accommodation in what is, after all, one of the developing mining areas in which hon. Members opposite are so impatient to see progress made?

Mr. Browne

The hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. Hamilton) will appreciate that the surgical facilities in the area have been considerably extended, with the greater use of the Bridge of Farn hospital for West Fife patients, that a considerable number of patients from Dunfermline are treated in the Edinburgh hospitals and the position will get better when the new block, which should be ready for use before the end of 1957, is completed.