HC Deb 10 December 1957 vol 579 c1058
19. Mr. Hannan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what improvements have been made by hospital boards of management in the organisation of outpatient departments since the issue of his circular; and, in particular, how many appointments systems have been introduced as a result of his recommendations.

Mr. Maclay

A survey made in 1956 of arrangements for out-patients at 163 hospitals showed that, since 1954, an appointments system had been introduced at 49 additional clinics, and also showed many other improvements in organisation. Almost all the larger hospitals have appointments in the majority of their clinics, and 106 hospitals have them for all clinics.

Mr. Hannan

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that there is great room for improvement in the use of appointment systems in hospitals in order to cope with the substantial increase in attendances, which now run at a rate of over 7 million annually? Will he take all the steps he can to ensure that more of these systems are inaugurated in order to save patients' waiting time at hospital?

Mr. Maclay

I am very conscious of the importance of this matter. My Department is in constant touch with the regional hospital boards on the subject, and there is steady improvement going on.