HC Deb 11 May 1950 vol 475 cc562-3
22. Mr. Sidney Marshall

asked the Minister of Health why it has been decided to retain only two blocks for infectious diseases at the Cuddington isolation hospital at Banstead providing treatment for a large population and use some 80 beds as an annexe to Epsom General Hospital so that infectious cases for which the hospital was intended, mostly children, are having to be sent to districts further away with resulting inconvenience to parents.

Mr. Bevan

It is not policy but shortage of nurses which limits the number of fever beds at this hospital. The present proposal is designed to get more beds staffed which would be used normally for convalescent patients but, in emergency, for fever patients.

Mr. Marshall

Will the Minister give consideration to the retention of one ward of 18 beds in addition to those already retained for the treatment of infectious diseases? I am sure this can be stopped because I was chairman of this hospital for many years and I am still in daily contact with it. I believe this can be provided and that it can be of great assistance.

Mr. Bevan

It often happens. Indeed one of the great advantages of not having many epidemics now is that we can use idle beds in fever hospitals instead of keeping them empty for possible fever patients.