§ 38. Mr. Kenneth Lindsay
asked the Minister of Health how many private houses have been earmarked for hospitals; what is the provision for beds in them; and how many patients are using them to-day?
§ Mr. E. Brown
As the answer is somewhat lengthy and contains a number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Following is the answer:
§ Under arrangements agreed with the War Organisation of the British Red Cross Society and Order of St. John of Jerusalem 163 houses have been opened, with 8,454 beds, and 52 more are in preparation, with 2,531 beds, as auxiliary or convalescent hospitals for the Emergency Hospital Scheme. In these houses 2,795 beds are at present occupied, but instructions to bring more beds into use are being issued. The usefulness of these hospitals, however, does not depend only on the present occupancy of beds. They are required for relieving the main hospitals of suitable types of patients, as and when the pressure on beds develops. Twelve houses have also been opened, 251 with 683 beds, and 44 are in preparation, with 2,459 beds, as annexes to existing hospitals. The occupancy of beds in these is pooled with the parent hospitals and separate figures cannot be given. In addition, nine houses, capable of providing 850 beds, are included in the buildings earmarked as reserve hospitals for use only in a serious emergency. All these figures relate only to the Emergency Hospital Scheme, in England and Wales, and do not cover other hospitals not in the scheme which have made arrangements of this kind privately or, for instance, premises used as sick bays or minor infectious diseases hospitals. My hon. Friend will also realise that certain other buildings besides private houses are used or have been earmarked for hospital purposes.