HC Deb 28 June 1971 vol 820 cc13-4
10. Mr. Gower

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the additional number of ambulances which would be needed to render practicable the implementation of the latest proposals of the Welsh Hospital Board for the reorganisation of hospitals in Cardiff, Caerphilly, Barry, Penarth, and adjacent parts of south-east Glamorgan; and what advice he has given to local authorities regarding the need for making this additional provision.

The Minister of State, Welsh Office (Mr. David Gibson-Watt)

Local health authorities are responsible for providing ambulance services. Discussions have taken place between the Welsh Hospital Board and the local health authorities concerned, and I am satisfied that proper provision will be made to meet the extra demand on the ambulance service.

Mr. Gower

Is my hon. Friend aware that many people who have spent a lifetime of service in health administration in South Wales are of the opinion that this is an extremely difficult matter and have expressed great disquiet at the fact that the ambulance services may have to take people into the crowded centre of Cardiff in adverse traffic conditions at all hours of the day?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I am very much aware of what my hon. Friend has said on this important matter, particularly with regard to the reorganisation of hospitals in this area. I assure him that discussions are taking place. This is a local authority responsibility and not a Welsh Office matter.

Mr. Fred Evans

Will the hon. Gentleman recall some of the questions I have put down on this matter which have been based on expert advice from local authorities and from people in medical circles? May I ask him earnestly to look at this question again in depth since the people mentioned in those Questions are still extremely perturbed that there may be a breakdown in this vital service?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I know that there is concern about this matter and that the hon. Gentleman has expressed this concern in Questions on earlier occasions. We are aware of the problems, as are the local authorities.

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