§ Dr. SHIELS
asked the Minister of Pensions (1) if it is his intention to close Bellahouston and Craigleith hospitals; and, if so, are the patients to be sent to Edenhall;608W
(2) whether he proposes to return all Scottish disabled men in English hospitals to Scotland for treatment near their own relatives and friends;
(3) how many hospital beds the Ministry is to maintain in Scotland; and will these beds be in one hospital or in more than one?
§ Major TRYON
Arrangements have been made, as I have already informed the House, to close Craigleith Hospital, the return of which has been asked for by the parish council at an early date. The patients remaining in that institution, who are occupying less than one-fifth of the available accommodation, will be removed to Edenhall, which has been placed at the disposal of the Government by the Scottish Red Cross and is being fully equipped as a modern surgical and medical hospital. The closure of Bellahouston Hospital is not at present in contemplation. I am anxious to extend the Ministry's tenure of this hospital and, as I have already informed the House, I am in communication with the Glasgow Corporation with that object and I am in hopes that a satisfactory agreement will be reached. It is not possible to estimate at the present time what will be the final requirements of the Ministry in Scotland in respect of special hospital accommodation of its own, but it is my intention now, as heretofore, to provide such accommodation of the best quality that can be obtained for as long as it may be required. The only cases having Scottish domicile who are receiving in-patient treatment in England are cases suffering from certain special disabilities, such as diabetes, and certain types of neurasthenia, for which treatment is now provided by the Ministry in a limited number of centres. It is not proposed to alter these arrangements, which are in the interest of the pensioners, and have worked satisfactorily for some years past.