§ Mr. Sarwar
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps have been taken to avert a shortage of hospital beds during the winter of 1997–98. 
§ Mr. Galbraith
The Government have provided an additional £25 million to the NHS in Scotland to deal with the expected increase in emergency admissions over the winter period. In addition, I have required Health Boards in Scotland to use their share of £10 million saved from reductions in bureaucracy to reduce waiting times and to ensure that effective contingency plans are in place.