HC Deb 31 March 1993 vol 222 cc340-1
6. Mr. McAvoy

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has had about the future of Victoria infirmary and Rutherglen maternity hospital; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart

Since the Greater Glasgow health board released details of its review of acute and maternity services in November last year, my right hon. Friend has received eight representations, including this question, on the future of the hospitals. I look forward to receiving the health board's recommendations in due course.

Mr. McAvoy

Will the Minister join me in expressing appreciation to all the staff at both hospitals for the service that they give to Glasgow, East Kilbride and my constituency? Will the Minister accept that the uncertainty and insecurity being caused by the review is doing great damage to the morale of all the staff, patients and potential patients attending the hospitals? Will he put an end to that uncertainty by instructing the health board that there is no need to close any hospital in Glasgow?

Mr. Stewart

I can of course agree with the hon. Gentleman's first point and pay tribute to the staff of the hospitals for their valuable contribution. The Victoria unit handles some 31,000 in-patient and some 400,000 out-patient treatments a year, but it is right to have a review of acute and maternity services. That review is aimed at improving services for the people of Glasgow and beyond and would involve substantial sums of extra public expenditure.

Mrs. Fyfe

The Opposition have their vision of the kind of maternity services in particular which should be made available not only to Glasgow but to Scotland as a whole. Will the Minister kindly describe his vision of the maternity services that he wants to see in the coming century?

Mr. Stewart

I wish, as I am sure the hon. Lady does, to see continuing improvements in maternity services. As the hon. Member for Glasgow, Rutherglen (Mr. McAvoy) said, proposals have been convassed for the transfer to the Royal of maternity services currently provided in Rutherglen. One must put the long-term interests of patients first. We are talking about proposals which might involve substantial extra sums of investment—not cuts —to improve health care in the Greater Glasgow area.

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