HC Deb 02 May 1973 vol 855 cc1240-1
12. Mr. Gourlay

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the approved establishment of physiotherapists in Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, and the number required to be recruited to meet the establishment at the latest available date.

The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Education, Scottish Office (Mr. Hector Monro)

There are no nationally-approved establishments of physiotherapists. The hospital authorities at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, put their overall requirement at the equivalent of 12.5 whole-time staff, and on this basis the number required to be recruited is equivalent to 9.3.

Mr. Gourlay

Is the Minister aware that the extremely unsatisfactory figures he has given reflect additional pain and suffering to many patients in the area? Does he recall his reply on 21st March stating that the school of physiotherapists at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary had refused admission to over 20 suitable applicants in the past three years? Will he attempt to rectify this scandalous state of affairs by allocating the necessary finance to enlarge the school at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary or, alternatively, by seconding some of the physiotherapists at Edinburgh to Kirkcaldy on a part-time basis?

Mr. Monro

I appreciate that there is a serious shortage of physiotherapists in Scotland, but many steps are being taken. There are 274 students at present in training. One of our major problems is the shortage of instructors. There will be a course starting at Jordanhill next session. Furthermore, the regional hospital board is making every effort to attract back to work those physiotherapists who left for marriage or for other reasons.