§ 1. Mr. Gourlay
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what action he proposes to take to assist the Fife Health Board to acquire central headquarters.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Harry Ewing)
Premises in Kirkcaldy, for adaptation as the central headquarters for Fife Health Board, were acquired in June 1975. When the board's proposal was approved in principle in 1974, an undertaking was given that part of the cost of adaptation, as then estimated, would be met by an additional financial allocation. I understand that the board is at present considering the alternatives of adaptations and new purpose-built premises.
§ Mr. Gourlay
Is my hon. Friend aware that there is a long waiting list for orthopaedic beds in Fife and a great urgency for more geriatric beds? Until the new central headquarters is provided, a fair amount of hospital accommodation will be used for administrative purposes. Will my hon. Friend do everything possible to assist the board in reaching a decision and getting the necessary finance to start the new building?
§ Mr. Ewing
To a certain extent my hon. Friend has got to the kernel of the problem. The problem is not so much the need for a new headquarters building as for geriatric beds and other urgent medical facilities. We shall give the highest possible priority to that, bearing in mind the need for a central headquarters building. We accept that the fragmentation in three different towns is not an economic proposition.