HC Deb 13 February 1967 vol 741 cc67-8
4. Mr. Nott

asked the Minister of Health what is his policy regarding the creation of additional obstetric flying squads; how many of these squads exist in the United Kingdom as a whole; and how many exist in the local authority areas covered by the West Cornwall Clinical Area.

Mr. Snow

Regional hospital boards will continue to keep the needs of their Regions under review, and will establish further obstetric flying squads or re-locate existing ones as new consultant maternity units are provided. There are 200 of these flying squads in England and Wales, one of which is in the West Cornwall Clinical Area.

Mr. Nott

In view of the distance which has to be travelled by emergency cases, and in view of the Minister's last remark about the existence of an obstetric flying squad in the area, will he consider whether a further obstetric flying squad can be provided for the widely scattered rural area to meet two emergencies which might occur at the same time?

Mr. Snow

We shall have to keep the position under review, but a new maternity unit of 80 beds is now under construction at Truro and when it is completed the location at the Miners and General Hospital at Redruth will be reconsidered.

Dr. John Dunwoody

Would not my hon. Friend agree that it would be illogical to introduce another obstetric flying squad in West Cornwall either at the new hospital at Truro or at Redruth which is not based on a consultant maternity unit? Does he not agree that in an area like West Cornwall, served by a single consultant unit, it is right that there should be one obstetric flying squad based on that unit?

Mr. Snow

The provision of flying squads must depend on availability, but we will have another look at this when the Truro Hospital gets into operation.