HC Deb 31 October 1955 vol 545 cc660-1
43 and 44. Mr. V. Yates

asked the Minister of Health (1) how many outpatients attended the Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, during the past year; how many out-patient clinics are at present arranged weekly; and when he proposes to alter the present unsatisfactory conditions under which the doctors have to consult, and examine, out-patients at this hospital;

(2) how many casualties were received in the casualty department at Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, during the past year; what is the present weekly average attendance at this department; and if he will consider taking immediate action to remedy the inadequate accommodation for examining patients, and for those awaiting examination.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I am informed that during the year ending September 30th last, 10,825 casualties and 18,871 outpatients attended at this hospital, the average weekly number of casualties being 450 and the weekly number of clinics held in the hospital, 66. I hope to approve within the next few days a temporary extension of the casualty department which will also relieve the out-patient department.

Mr. Yates

May I ask the Minister two questions? Is he aware that, as far as out-patients are concerned, there is no privacy whatever and that patients undressing behind a curtain can hear what the doctor is saying to the previous patient, and that this is a shocking state of affairs considering the hundreds of patients who are being examined? As the Minister gave me a similar answer 18 months ago, can we not have some definite assurance that steps will be taken to effect an improvement?

In regard to the question of the casualty department, is the Minister aware that there is only a wretched old shed for this large number of casualties, many of whom are waiting in queues on stretchers in sight of each other and within sight of others who are waiting? It is a situation which has been going on for years, and something ought to be done immediately to check it.

Mr. Macleod

As the hon. Member knows, there is a major scheme in prospect for the casualty and out-patient department, but as it is not high enough yet on the list of priorities I have decided to deal with this matter, as I said, by a temporary addition, which I hope to approve in the course of the next few days. It is really as near as that. I think that this will make a substantial contribution to dealing with the points that the hon. Member has in mind.