HC Deb 03 August 1971 vol 822 cc1315-6
7. Mr. Hicks

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is now in a position to make a statement on the provision of maternity facilities in the Liskeard district.

Mr. Alison

Maternity facilities for the Liskeard district are provided by the local health authority, general practitioners and the regional hospital board. Facilities for hospital confinement are provided at Plymouth, Launceston, Tavistock and St. Austell. I have decided that the Trebarras Maternity Home should be permanently closed. The regional hospital board has considered the provision of alternative facilities in Liskeard, but has concluded that it is impracticable to provide them. I am writing to my hon. Friend.

Mr. Hicks

Is the Minister aware that his announcement today will bring great disappointment to the growing population of the Liskeard catchment area since during the three years in which Trebarras has been closed people have had to travel considerable distances to the alternative hospitals which the Minister has announced? I hope he will reconsider his decision, especially as there appears to be an alternative scheme in conjunction with the local practitioner hospital.

Mr. Alison

The local general practitioner scheme to which my hon. Friend referred has not, I am afraid, proved practicable, because it would involve the taking on of three domiciliary nurses for a total number of deliveries of no more than two or three a week. It is simply uneconomic to provide a comprehensive service locally for so few deliveries.