HC Deb 16 November 1939 vol 353 cc826-7
59 and 60. Sir Ralph Glyn

asked the Minister of Health (1) whether he is satisfied that there is adequate specialist treatment available for persons threatened with blindness and attending Moorfields and other London hospitals; and whether he will at any rate authorise the immediate release of enough eye, heart, throat and ear specialists to attend to their normal peace-time work, in view of the deterioration that results from interference with treatment;

(2) how many officers of the specialist class in the London sectors of the Emergency Medical Service are under whole-time engagements; how many have accepted the terms which were offered for transfer to part-time service; and, in view of the urgent need for economy and for ensuring adequate service for the ordinary civilian sick, will he undertake to arrange equitable and acceptable terms of service so that a saving in salaries may be effected and these specialists left free, in their spare time, to follow their peacetime work of caring for the ordinary civilian sick, both in hospital, and in private?

Mr. Elliot

I am not aware of any difficulty in providing adequate specialist treatment for the ophthalmic cases referred to by my hon. Friend or that, in general, there has been interference with necessary treatment in the other types of case which he mentions, but I should be glad to consider any instances he has in mind. As to the position of the specialists in general, I am discussing with the special committee which I mentioned in my reply to the hon. Member for London University (Sir E. Graham-Little) on 2nd November the whole question of the terms of service of specialist and other members of the Emergency Medical Service.

Sir Francis Fremantle

How soon may we expect the result of this consideration?

Mr. Elliot

I hope it will be possible to make a statement next week.