HC Deb 24 April 1963 vol 676 cc213-4
28. Mr. Hoy

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what reply he has sent to the Edinburgh Local Medical Committee's request for more funds to enable them to solve the immediate geriatric problem in their area.

Mr. Noble

They have been informed of the regional hospital board's plans to provide about 150 additional geriatric beds in existing hospitals over the next few months and to build new accommodation providing a further 360 beds at the Liberton and Royal Victoria Hospitals.

Mr. Hoy

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the local committee has expressed complete dissatisfaction with the Secretary of State's reply? Is it not a fact that some beds which he proposes to give to the geriatrics he has taken from the general patients in hospitals in the area? In other words, he is worsening their position to try to meet this need. In view of the tremendous need for beds of this kind, cannot the right hon. Gentleman allocate more funds for this purpose without impinging on the already small number of beds which are available for general medical patients?

Mr. Noble

I am afraid that I cannot do that. The south-eastern region has had a fair share of the programme, which has to be related to other building programmes in the public sector and to the capacity of the building industry to get through the work.