§ 12. Mr. Gourlay
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the date for the erection of a building in Kirkcaldy to accommodate the Fife School of Nursing.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Frank McElhone)
I am grateful for those comments. I am not sure whether they indicated sympathy or conversion.
I am not able to forecast a starting date since this will depend on the suitability of the proposed site, which is at present being investigated. Also the time required for the production of detailed plans and for obtaining the necessary approvals thereafter and, of course, the availability of finance will have to be considered.
§ Mr. Gourlay
I congratulate my hon. Friend on his appointment to the Government and on his first appearance at the Dispatch Box. No doubt his humour and wit will be sorely taxed in his new responsibilities.
Is my hon. Friend aware that we very much appreciated his visit to the Victoria Hospital on 9th October? I am sure that during that visit the urgent need for orthopaedic and geriatric beds was very much impressed upon him. Is he aware that, unless we get this college of nursing at an early date, there will be no staff available for the new extension to Victoria Hospital and at referral hospitals for orthopaedic and geriatric beds? It is important to expedite the erection of this building.
§ Mr. McElhone
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his kind comments. I am aware of his concern to have this building situated in Kirkcaldy, but the decision to locate the school in Kirkcaldy was taken by the health board's predecessor, which was the South-East Regional Hospital Board. So far as we know, there is no question now of any other location being chosen. I have no doubt that that will please my hon. Friend. But this is a matter for the local health board.