§ 23. Colonel YATE
asked whether arrangements can be made for wounded soldiers who desire it being transferred to hospitals or convalescent hospitals as near as possible to their homes as soon as they are fit to travel, if they cannot be sent there direct on arrival?
§ Mr. TENNANT
As far as is possible every endeavour has been made to send, to hospitals in the neighbourhood of their homes, all sick and wounded on arrival in this country. It is, of course, easy to appreciate that in many cases this is quite impossible, and often for the sake of the patients themselves, who may be so severely wounded as to necessitate their admission to the nearest hospital in which accommodation is available. In the case of those men sent to hospitals remote from their homes, we endeavour to arrange for the transfer, to hospitals in the neighbourhood of their homes, of all cases which are likely to be unfit for duty for any period over six weeks, and which are therefore unlikely to be able to proceed to their homes on furlough within that period. Cases that are referred to the War Office are dealt with strictly on these lines. Suitable cases which are likely to be fit for duty within six weeks are treated in convalescent hospitals, so far as accommodation in them is available. At present all these hospitals are in the South of England, but as others are opened in other parts of the United Kingdom it Will be arranged, as far as is possible, to send cases to convalescent hospitals in that part of the country in which their homes are situated.
§ Colonel YATE
In thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his kind answer, may I ask if he will issue orders to medical officers in charge of hospitals that they can give transfers to hospitals or convalescent hospitals as near as possible to their own homes without reference to the War Office?