HC Deb 26 October 1976 vol 918 cc154-5W
Mr. Mackintosh

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when the appeal in the case of Dr. W. M. Thomson v. the Lothian Health Board which was set for 27th July 1976 and adjourned sine die will be heard, in view of the fact that radio-diagnosis has been suspended in the North Lothian Division pending the result of this case since 27th August and that a decision is needed both in the interests of medical treatment in the area and justice to Dr. Thomson.

Mr. Harry Ewing

The Appeal Committee set up to consider this matter, before proceeding to a formal hearing, invited an independent mediator to meet the parties in the hope of achieving an agreed settlement. Under the mediator's guidance a large measure of accord was achieved leaving only one point outstanding in respect of which the health board made a further offer to Dr. Thomson on 4th August last. That offer was repeated on 17th September, with the request that his reply should be given by 30th September. The period for reply was extended at the request of Dr. Thomson's solicitors, but as no firm response has been received by 12th October the situation was reported to the secretary of the Appeal Committee, who has asked Dr. Thomson to clarify his position. The latter's solicitors have since indicated that they hope to be able to give an early reply.

In the event of Dr. Thomson not accepting the board's offer, the Appeal Committee will require to consider what further action is appropriate in the circumstances. It would be improper for me to speculate on the probable outcome but I hope that this matter can soon be brought to a satisfactory conclusion.

In the meantime, I am glad to assure my hon. Friend that radiodiagnosis has not been suspended in the North Lothian District and that normal radiodiagnostic services for patients are being maintained. What have been suspended are the activities of the division of radiodiagnosis, the membership of which comprises all consultant radiologists in the district and which is the source of formal advice to the district executive group on radiodiagnostic matters.

Metric tons
Country 1973 1974 1975 1976 to August
Belgium/Luxembourg 11,566 11,361 11,836 17
Denmark 10 20
France 44,755 16,598 93,595 76,784
Germany (Federal Republic) 14,334 820 60
Irish Republic 102 20 26 20
Italy 1
Netherlands 48 5
Spain 142
Switzerland 4,500
Total 56 423 42,964 106,302 81,381