HC Deb 06 February 1956 vol 548 c1341
61. Mr. Hastings

asked the Minister of Health in how many of the hospitals under his charge there are special units for relatively young patients who are suffering from chronic illnesses from which they are not likely to recover; and whether he will point out to regional boards the value of such units.

Mr. Turton

Regional boards have not been asked generally to set up units of this kind because it has seemed better for a young chronic sick patient to be in a hospital near his home, where he can be regularly visited. I understand, however, that in ten hospitals it has been found possible to try special arrangements for groups of the young chronic sick.

Mr. Hastings

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate the condition of young people with chronic rheumatoid arthritis, etc., who spend perhaps twenty or thirty years of their lives in a chronic sick ward where there are old people who are dying at intervals, and from which no one ever goes out alive?

Mr. Turton

I appreciate that very much. That is why we try to keep the young chronic sick together in wards; but I think it is important to make every opportunity for the young chronic sick to be near their homes, so that they can be visited by their relatives.