HC Deb 22 February 1945 vol 408 cc926-7
9. Colonel Lyons

asked the Minister of Health how many children of or under school age are awaiting admission to anti-tuberculosis sanatoria in England and Wales, each separately; what is the average length of waiting time between application and admission; and whether all possible steps are being taken to reduce the interval of waiting by temporary improvisation or otherwise.

The Minister of Health (Mr. Willink)

Returns from local authorities as at 31st December last showed that 436 children in England and 112 in Wales were then awaiting institutional treatment for pulmonary or non-pulmonary tuberculosis. I regret that I have no information as to the average length of the waiting period, and to obtain it would involve an extensive special inquiry. All possible steps continue to be taken to increase institutional accommodation for tuberculosis cases, but the exigencies of war make this very difficult at present.

Colonel Lyons

While realising the difficulties, may I ask my right hon. and learned Friend to give an assurance that he will keep on trying to reduce this waiting period as much as possible?

Mr. Willink

Certainly, Sir.

Sir Joseph Lamb

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that the waiting period is due to lack of people to look after the patients, rather than to any lack of accommodation?

Mr. Willink

The greater difficulty is with regard to staff rather than accommodation.