§ Dr. Glyn
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) in view of the concern of residents in the Maidenhead area, why the casualty department of the Maidenhead Hospital has been closed when there is adequate hospital staff available to man the department and no alternative facilities are available within a reasonable distance;
(2) why the casualty department of the Windsor Hospital has been closed at weekends; and, in view of the fact that there are no alternative facilities available in the area, if he will take steps to ensure that the Windsor casualty department is kept open on a permanent basis.
§ Mr. Alison
The major accident and emergency departments for the Windsor area are at Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, about nine miles by road from Maidenhead, and at Heatherwood Hospital, Ascot; all ambulance cases are taken direct to one or other of these departments.
Until 3rd July, 1970, the casualty departments at Maidenhead Hospital and King Edward VII Hospital, Windsor, 56W were providing a 24-hour service on seven days a week. However, recent medical staffing difficulties in the accident and emergency department at Wexham Park Hospital have necessitated the transfer of staff to Wexham Park from both Maiden-head and King Edward VII Hospitals; and since Friday, 3rd July, the casualty departments in both these hospitals have had to be closed at weekends.
The Hospital Management Committee has now been able to make a temporary appointment until 31st July at Wexham Park Hospital which should enable the casualty departments at Maidenhead and King Edward VII Hospitals to remain open at weekends from 18th July to the end of the month, if no further staffing difficulties arise. It is of prime importance, however, that the major departments at Wexham Park Hospital and Heatherwood Hospital are adequately staffed to provide a service at all times.