asked the Secretary of State for Air what hospital facilities are available to the wives of airmen at North Luffenham in cases of confinement.
Service wives at North Luffenham may use either the National Health Service maternity facilities or those provided by the Royal Air Force Hospital at Nocton Hall.
Can the right hon. Gentleman be satisfied with the present arrangements when some of the wives who are already in labour have to be sent by road to hospital 50 miles away with no qualified person in attendance to deal with any emergency en route? Does he not think this a disgraceful and scandalous state of affairs? Will he bring this sort of thing to an end without further delay?
I do not think that the situation is a scandalous one. We should, of course, like to have even better facilities than we have, but what we have compares very reasonably with the civilian facilities available in the area.
As North Luffenham is in my constituency, might I make it clear to my right hon. Friend that we have all the health facilities in Rutland available for anyone from North Luffenham who cares to make use of them? This is contrary to the view that some people seem to have about my county.
We should like a little more information. Is it not the case that some wives of Service personnel have to go fifty miles for their confinement? If that is the case, ought not something to be done about it?
There are facilities at North Luffenham, but they are not on a large scale, and some wives of airmen prefer to go to Nocton Hall for their confinement, and this is some distance off. They have a choice.
In view of the very unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.