3. Mr. McNeil
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many acute tuber- 2060 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?
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.
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?
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?
Yes, Sir, my hon. Friend knows that there is nothing more urgent in this regard than the provision of further nursing and domestic staff.