HC Deb 01 February 1971 vol 810 cc1234-5
18. Mr. Nicholas Edwards

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what steps are being taken to obtain the medical staff required to man the accident unit recommended in the report prepared for his Department on the hospital services in Pembrokeshire.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

Along with the other bodies which gave evidence to Dr. Bevan, my right hon. and learned Friend has asked the board to let him have its comments and proposals on the report by 12th February. I expect these to include the board's comments on the staffing of the accident unit at Haverfordwest. In the meantime, the unit is being kept open during the week-days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by local doctors and during the weekend by doctors from the West Wales General Hospital. Glangwili.

Mr. Edwards

Is my hon. Friend aware that, though in general the report has been widely welcomed, there will be no satisfaction until it is implemented? Is my hon. Friend further aware that as the recommendations were made by the Department's Chief Medical Adviser it must be assumed that they are practical and that he will ensure that they are carried into effect?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his interest in this difficult matter. The report was made only a short time ago. We look forward to hearing the answers from the Welsh Hospital Board to the recommendations of the group.

19. Mr. Nicholas Edwards

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he has discussed with the Chairman of the Welsh Hospital Board the contents of the Report on the Hospital Services in Pembrokeshire prepared for his Department; and whether the Board intends to issue an early statement of its intentions.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I have discussed the Report with the Chairman of the Welsh Hospital Board. As I indicated in reply to my hon. Friend's previous Question, the Board and the other bodies which gave evidence to Dr. Bevan have been asked to submit their comments on the Report to my right hon. and learned Friend by 12th February.

Mr. Edwards

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Will the Minister undertake to publish the results of that report? I think that my hon. Friend will agree that we are entitled to expect an early and clear statement of the hospital board's intentions as it is, after all, acting as the Minister's agent in this matter?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I will certainly look at that.

Mr. Fred Evans

Is the Minister aware of the serious disquiet within the area of the Cardiff Hospital Management Committee concerning the imminent statement from his Department about hospitals in the locality, involving, as rumours have it, a serious cut-back in finance with a possible loss of 400 beds? Will the Minister assure the people of that area that the rumours are not true? Will the hon. Gentleman further undertake to have a look at the machinery by which we understand his right hon. Friend's statement will be released tomorrow and also at the chain of information, which seems to leave the Cardiff Hospital Management Committee as the last body to which the decision will be made known?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

If the hon. Gentleman will put down a Question on that matter I will answer it. Question No. 19 refers to Pembrokeshire.

Mr. George Thomas

May I ask the Minister of State whether it is proposed to publish tomorrow this important statement to which my hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Fred Evans) has referred, since there are Questions relating to that today?

Mr. Gibson-Watt:

I was answering only Question No. 19.