§ 35. Mr. Gourlay
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals the South East of Scotland Regional Hospital Board has made for the immediate provision of urgently required geriatric beds in the East Fife Hospital Board area.
§ Mr. Maclay
The South-Eastern Regional Hospital Board has submitted proposals for the building of a geriatric unit at the Randolph Wemyss Hospital, Buckhaven, and I hope to give the Board a decision on this matter very soon.
§ Mr. Gourlay
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that only 4.3 beds per 1,000 of the population over 65 years of age are available to the County of Fife at the present time as opposed to 11.2 per cent. in England and Wales, that almost 30 per cent. of the old people admitted to hospital die within a year of admission because they are so late in being admitted, and that a number of old people are left to die in their own homes in the most miserable and distressing conditions? Will he ensure that the hospital at Buckhaven is built as soon as possible?
§ Mr. Maclay
The hon. Gentleman has given a number of statistics which I am sure are correct. I am aware of Fife's needs, and, as the hon. Gentleman knows, we are trying to improve the situation as fast as we can.