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National Health Service

Volume 173: debated on Wednesday 6 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many health boards in Scotland will remain within budget in the current year.

All health boards are required to remain within resources made available to them.


To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has any plans to meet the chairman of Lothian health board to discuss the financing of the board.


To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what new investment and improvements his Department has made to health services in Scotland so far this year.

I do not wish to detain the House with a lengthy list, but improvements include the helicopter ambulance, the commitment of a heart transplant service and a number of new hospital projects including a maternity unit for Moray.


To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what new developments he is proposing for the national health service in Scotland.

My hon. Friend the Minister responsible for health recently announced six substantial new developments for the national health service in Scotland. First, he has asked Grampian health board to prepare detailed proposals for a new specialist maternity unit in Elgin and for a new cottage hospital in Peterhead. Both units are to be developed on the existing hospital sites. Tayside health board's proposals for a new hospital in Crieff to replace outdated facilities at Crieff cottage hospital and Bridge of Earn hospital have been approved. Together these three capital projects represent an investment of some £20 million in the NHS estate.The helicopter ambulance services based on Inverness will be centrally funded to serve the more remote parts of Scotland and allow rapid transfer of patients requiring urgent hospital treatment. This will cost some £600,000.A new national service for the rehabilitation of brain-injured patients is to be established to complement and enhance the work already being carried out in the NHS and the private sector. It is estimated that there are around 500 patients in Scotland who would likely to benefit from intensive specialised rehabilitation services, many of whom are young people whose quality of life could be vastly enhanced if these facilities were available.Finally, I am delighted that Scotland is to get its first heart and heart/lung transplant unit so that Scots patients do not have to travel to England for transplant surgery. Many Scots have benefited from the service in England but the long journeys are distressing for very ill patients and their relatives. A new Scottish unit will be much more accessible and will build on the considerable improvements in cardiac surgery in Scotland, which now carry out 2,500 cardiac operations a year.


To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with Grampian health board on its 10-year development strategy.

Health Boards are required to submit strategic plans and my officials meet boards regularly to review and monitor progress.


To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met Lothian health board to discuss its funding problems; and if he will make a statement.

The chief executive of the NHS in Scotland has been in regular contact with the Lothian health hoard chairman and officials over recent weeks about the board's financial problems.