HC Deb 23 July 1953 vol 518 cc579-80
29. Mr. Nally

asked the Minister of Health what advice he has given, or what assistance he proposes to render to, the Wolverhampton Hospital Management Committe who, as a consequence of being unable to fill house posts in the Royal Hospital, Wolverhampton, have been compelled to circularise all industrial first aid posts in their area asking them to avoid sending patients other than urgent cases to this hospital.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I am having inquiry made and will write to the hon. Member. I am afraid that the shortage of junior medical staff in hospitals is general in the region.

Mr. Nally

While realising that the Minister cannot possibly have concluded his inquiries yet, may I ask him whether he would agree that it is an extremely serious situation in a heavy industrial district of this kind when industrial first-aid posts are asked to undertake the obligation of deciding whether or not cases are serious? Does not he agree that this is disconcerting, and will not he do his best to speed up the inquiry and, if necessary, give help to the Wolverhampton Hospital Management Committee in its admittedly difficult task?

Mr. Macleod

The letter that the hon. Member refers to was sent only to firms that are known to have staffed first-aid posts, usually with medical assistance as well. I should have thought that it was useful for them to know the difficult position which exists at the Royal Hospital, Wolverhampton. I will try to see if there are local circumstances which make it easier for myself or the regional hospital board to help in this matter.