HC Deb 14 July 1971 vol 821 cc479-80
17. Mr. Gourlay

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the number of elderly persons in Kirkcaldy on the waiting list for beds in the geriatric wards of the Victoria Hospital and of the Cameron Hospital in Fife.

Mr. Edward Taylor

Thirty for the geriatric assessment beds in the Victoria Hospital. There is no waiting list for Cameron Hospital since patients are admitted from the assessment unit and not direct.

Mr. Gourlay

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these figures are a dismal tale of misery and human suffering and even danger to life? Is he further aware that the number of geriatric beds per thousand of the population in the Kirkcaldy area is much smaller than elsewhere in Scotland, and will he, therefore, ensure that some of the additional millions for public works announced by his right hon. Friend yesterday will be made available and used to rectify this harassing and urgent problem in the Kirkcaldy area?

Mr. Taylor

I accept that so long as there is any waiting list for geriatric accommodation a serious personal problem may arise, and the hon. Gentleman has drawn my attention to particular cases. It may be some encouragement to him to hear that a 30-bed geriatric unit is to be provided at Cupar and that building should start in 1972–73. It is proposed in the post-1972 major building programme to provide 60 geriatric beds and 90 psycho-geriatric beds and other services, including a day hospital service, at the Victoria Hospital, and geriatric beds, probably 30, will be included in the hospital development at Glenrothes. I hope that this will be of some help for the future.