§ Mr. Nigel Griffiths
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has anything to add to the reply of 21 November,Official Report, column 285, in the light of representations from the British Medical Association and the area medical committee concerning their reactions to Lothian health board's proposals.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
[holding answer 7 December 1990]: In response to Lothian health board's consultation 373W document, the Lothian area medical committee in its letter of 16 July gave a clear statement of support for the concentration of paediatric medical and surgical services, of neurosurgery, of urological services and of accident and emergency services, and the movement as proposed of respiratory medicine, rheumatology and lithotripsy. This represents a substantial proportion of the board's proposals.
The committee also expressed concern that the proposals would result in a reduction in the quality and quantity of clinical care. Both I and my right hon. Friend have acknowledged that some specialties will be temporarily inconvenienced during the implementation of the changes. In the longer term a new pattern of acute hospital services will be created to allow the more efficient use of medical and nursing staff, as well as of buildings and facilities.