HC Deb 20 July 1959 vol 609 cc843-4
1. Mr. F. Noel-Baker

asked the Minister of Health whether he has yet completed his consultations on the Cranbrook Committee's recommendations; which of its recommendations he will implement; and to what extent this will improve maternity services in Swindon.

The Minister of Health (Mr. Derek Walker-Smith)

As I said in the recent debate on the National Health Service, memoranda prepared in consultation with the appropriate organisations will shortly go out commending to hospital and local health authorities, executive councils and general practitioners many of the recommendations in this Report. I will send the hon. Member copies. It will be for the authorities and practitioners concerned to consider the maternity services at Swindon in the light of these memoranda.

The recommendations concerning the maternity medical services provided by general practitioners, especially those about the future of the obstetric lists, are still under consideration, in consultation with the interested bodies.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Has the Minister been in touch with the regional hospital board about conditions in Swindon, which are particularly inadequate at the present time? Has he any real hopes that there will be an improvement during the course of the next few months?

Mr. Walker-Smith

As the hon. Gentleman will know, my medical and nursing team visited Swindon in January. There are difficulties there, as in other parts of the country, but I am advised that there is no very serious shortage of midwives there. I certainly hope that Swindon will participate in the advantages which will accrue from the recommendations in the circulars.

Dr. Summerskill

In view of the fact that the Cranbrook Report was published last February, can the Minister say when he will make his recommendations, having regard to the importance of the obstetric list and the need to make more hospital beds available?

Mr. Walker-Smith

There are two matters here, as the right hon. Lady knows. There are the circulars containing the recommendations which I am now commending to the authorities concerned, and these are coming out very soon indeed. The question of the obstetric list is still under discussion with the professional organisations concerned.