HC Deb 11 November 1970 vol 806 c364
8. Mr. Brewis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what extra provision he is making for geriatric patients in Galloway consequent on the closing of Lauriston Hospital.

Mr. Edward Taylor

The hospital authorities are making available 18 additional geriatric beds at Lochmaben Hospital and are reviewing the availability of general practitioner beds at Castle Douglas and Newton Stewart Hospitals. Their aim is that so far as possible local people should be accommodated in the nearest convenient hospital having regard to their clinical condition.

Mr. Brewis

Is my hon. Friend aware that Lochmaben is a long way from this area and that a number of people, including the Medical Executive Council, are seriously disquieted about the lack of accommodation for old people in their areas? Will he rescind his decision until he has at least heard the views of the Medical Executive Council?

Mr. Taylor

The Medical Executive Council, to which reference has been made, like all the bodies consulted, did not object to the closure in principle. The discussions were not about the closure, but on the wider issue of the availability of beds for general practitioners in the area. While I am conscious of the strong representations made by my hon. Friend, I understand that the Secretary of State would not be prepared to reconsider this matter unless new circumstances arose of which we were not aware at the time of the decision.

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