§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
My right hon. and learned Friend has not received any proposals from the Lanarkshire health board for a new district general hospital.
§ Dr. Bray
Is the Minister aware that the Lanarkshire health board has recently discovered mining subsidence on the site of the Law hospital, which makes it quite unsuitable for modernisation and development of that wartime emergency hospital on which Motherwell and Wishaw have depended for the past 40 years? Is he also aware that the Strathclyde hospital site has long been designated as a site for a new district general hospital? Will he tell the Lanarkshire health board to get on with it?
§ Mr. Forsyth
I thought that it was the position of Opposition Members that I should not tell the health boards to get on with anything. I am sure the hon. Gentleman will be aware that the Lanarkshire health board, as part of its general review of its long-term acute services strategy, is examining the case for a new district general hospital for the Hamilton-East Kilbride area. If it were to submit a proposal for a new hospital it would need to be backed by a full and detailed option appraisal. I await the board's proposals with interest.
Is the Minister aware that the saga of the Motherwell district general hospital has been drifting on for about 25 years? Is he also aware that the huge Motherwell-Hamilton conurbation is seriously ill served in acute hospital services? When he considers the allocation of capital for hospital building, will he consider the desirability of building a new district general hospital for the Hamilton-East Kilbride area?
§ Mr. Forsyth
It is true that, this matter has been under consideration for some time, but, as the hon. Gentleman will know, the board decided to give priority to new schemes at Kirklands hospital, Udston hospital and Hairmyres hospital shortly after 1978. Those schemes are now coming to fruition and they reflect the SHAPE priorities and the priority that has been given to services for the mentally ill and mentally handicapped.