HC Deb 29 April 1964 vol 694 cc406-7
49. Mrs. Hart

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will review all plans for future hospital maternity provision in Scotland in the light of the evidence of the recent Perinatal Mortality Survey Report concerning the relative degree of success of consultant obstetric units, general practitioner maternity units attached to hospitals with consultant facilities, and other general practitioner units, respectively, in preventing avoidable infant deaths.

Mr. Noble

The great majority of new maternity beds being provided in Scotland are in specialist obstetric units, and this pattern will be maintained. I do not think, therefore, that the Report makes necessary a review of the plans that we have already made.

Mrs. Hart

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are some plans in hand relating to certain areas for the provision of general practitioner units, not necessarily on the site of consultant hospitals? Is he further aware that according to the Perinatal Mortality Survey Report about 1,000 avoidable infant deaths take place every year in Scotland and does he realise that a great many of these could be avoided by careful deductions from the conclusions of that Report?

Mr. Noble

My Department has certainly studied the Report and I agree with the hon. Lady that there are some units where general practitioners will be playing a very useful part, perhaps with adequate specialist cover looking after them. I do not think that I could go as far as to accept the whole of the Report at this stage.