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Hospital Beds (Highland Region)

Volume 201: debated on Wednesday 15 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many unoccupied beds in private nursing homes are being paid for by Highland health board; and at what cost.

I understand that Highland health board has concluded that the negotiation of a contract with a private nursing home in Portree would be a more cost-effective way of providing better care for the elderly in a more central location in Skye. The closure of Gesto hospital is now the subject of public consultation. If meanwhile the board judges it right to reserve accommodation to ensure that its plans can be implemented, that is a matter for it. I will approve the closure of Gesto hospital only if it is clear that the alternative accommodation offers a better service to patients.