HC Deb 22 November 1972 vol 846 cc1279-81
18. Mr. Ewing

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what further discussions have taken place with a view to improving maternity facilities at Falkirk Royal Infirmary.

Mr. Monro

There have been discussions between officers of my right hon. Friend's Department, the Western Regional Hospital Board and the board of management about maternity facilities at Falkirk Royal Infirmary. The board of management has been asked to consider the use of maternity facilities at Stirling Royal Infirmary to ease the pressure on those at Falkirk. The long-term requirements for maternity facilities in the Cumbernauld-Falkirk area are being examined by the regional board to enable planning of the new development in band IV of the major hospital building programme to proceed as quickly as possible.

Mr. Ewing

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that the suggestion that maternity facilities at Stirling Royal Infirmary should be used to relieve the position at Falkirk Royal Infirmary may well mean that mothers-to-be have about 18 miles

summary courts and so on. These are individual subjects which have to be looked into as a result of the proposed reorganisation.

Following is the list:

to travel before they get to Stirling Royal Infirmary? Although this may appear to the hon. Gentleman to be a local problem, I hope he will acknowledge that the effects of the bad maternity facilities at Falkirk are fairly widespread and urgent action is required on the amenities which I have mentioned.

Mr. Monro

I could not accept that there are bad facilities at Falkirk, although I acknowledge that there is pressure for accommodation. I hope that any of the hon. Gentleman's constituents who may have to go to Stirling will appreciate that this is a temporary measure and that we are pressing on as fast as we can with the planning of new developments in that area.

Mr. Baxter

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that some of the women who have their babies in Stirling Maternity Hospital are discharged within three days, which presupposes that there is not a great deal of latitude in that hospital for taking people from Falkirk?

Mr. Monro

I note the point which the hon. Gentleman makes, which is part of the subject matter of discussion with the board of management. I am interested in what the hon. Gentleman says about discharge in three days. My information is that the average period is much nearer eight days.