HC Deb 28 November 1962 vol 668 cc70-1W
110. Mr. Woodburn

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware of the conditions under which patients have to attend at some doctors' surgeries where there are no suitable facilities or conveniences and which may be dangerous to ailing people; and whether he will stipulate minimum conditions of accommodation for waiting patients and require inspection and approval in cases where complaints arise.

Mr. Noble

The duty of satisfying themselves that doctors are meeting their obligation to provide proper and sufficient facilities is laid upon Executive Councils, who have powers to investigate complaints, to inspect accommodation and to require improvement where they consider it necessary. I do not think that at present laying down minimum standards is the best way to secure improvement.

111. Mr. Woodburn

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that some local authorities have established clinics where accommodation is made available to doctors as surgeries; and whether he will take steps towards the extension of this practice to eliminate the hardship and risk to patients who have to wait inside and sometimes outside improvised surgeries in condemned property, old shops, and other unsuitable quarters.

Mr. Noble

I am aware that certain local health authorities have arrangements for the part-time use of accommodation in their clinics by family doctors. I welcome co-operation of this kind between health authorities and family doctors where local circumstances permit; but such sharing arrangements cannot take the place of the duty of the family doctor to provide adequate accommodation, and of the Executive Council to ensure that he does so.