HC Deb 03 August 1943 vol 391 cc2059-60
3. Mr. McNeil

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many acute tuber- cular patients were waiting for hospital accommodation on 1st July, 1943; and how many additional beds had been made available for such patients between 1st May, 1943, and 1st July, 1943?

Mr. Johnston

At 1st July, 1943, the number of pulmonary tubercular patients who had been waiting for hospital accommodation for ten days or more was 1,007. As regards the second part of the Question, precise figures are not readily available for the dates mentioned, but between the beginning of April and the beginning of August 244 new beds have been occupied, and nursing staff has been obtained for 65 additional beds which had not been in use owing to lack of staff. A further 130 beds are ready for occupation as soon as nursing staff can be obtained, and a still further 330 new beds will be available immediately certain adaptations are completed, provided nursing and domestic staff is available. Proposals to cover the remainder of the waiting list by release of further emergency hospital service beds are being urgently examined.

Mr. McNeil

While I greatly appreciate the work which my right hon. Friend is doing in this connection—and I would not like him to think that my Question was anything but friendly—will he tell me whether these 244 beds are included in the 300 which he promised when making his annual report, or are they additional to the 300?

Mr. Johnston

Some are included, but between the beginning of April and the beginning of August 244 beds were made available.

Mr. Gallacher

In view of the seriousness of this question and the urgent need for nurses, will the Minister consider every kind of new suggestion, including those made when he received a deputation of Fife Members?

Mr. Johnston

Yes, Sir, my hon. Friend knows that there is nothing more urgent in this regard than the provision of further nursing and domestic staff.