HC Deb 16 December 1960 vol 632 cc90-1W
Mr. Oswald

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) whether he is aware that an incubator had to be brought with police escort from supplies in Glasgow to an Edinburgh maternity hospital because all available incubators were in use in the city; and what action he is taking to avoid the necessity for this procedure;

(2) how many child incubators are in stock in the maternity and other hospitals in the City of Edinburgh; and whether he will arrange for additional supplies to be in readiness at such hospitals in case of emergency;

(3) whether he is aware that on Friday, 9th December, no incubators were available for a premature baby born at the Elsie Inglis Memorial Maternity, Hospital, Edinburgh, and that other hospitals in the city were unable to supply this apparatus; and whether he will ascertain the reason for the shortage of these articles.

Mr. Maclay

This incubator was required for a child that had been born, not prematurely, before the mother was admitted to the Elsie Inglis Hospital. The hospital obtained the incubator urgently from the suppliers in Glasgow without approaching other hospitals in Edinburgh, although it has since been ascertained that one could have been obtained in this way. There are altogether twenty-one incubators of various types in Edinburgh hospitals, five of them at the Elsie Inglis Hospital; one of these five is of the particular type required on this occasion, but it was already in use. On only one previous occasion in the last fourteen years has the Elsie Inglis Hospital had to borrow an incubator, and it is not clear that there is any need to stock more of them in Edinburgh; but the Regional Hospital Board is examining the arrangements for securing that particular kinds of incubators are available where and when they are needed.