HC Deb 08 December 1958 vol 597 cc13-4
12. Mr. Wells

asked the Minister of Health if he has considered the complaints made at the annual general meeting of the Rochester and Chatham Division of the British Medical Association concerning the shortage of beds for acutely ill patients in the Medway area, including Sittingbourne and district, of which a copy have been sent to him; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. R. Thompson

I am aware of the need for more acute beds in this area, and the regional board is examining the possible use of the Royal Naval Hospital. Chatham, which will become available in 1961, to supplement the existing resources.

Mr. Wells

In view of the shortage which undoubtedly exists in this area and of the danger to life that is involved, will the Minister give this matter his personal attention?

Mr. Thompson


Dr. Summerskill

Would the Minister consider setting up machinery comparable to the emergency bed service, which will enable waiting cases to be transferred immediately to beds available in hospitals?

Mr. Thompson

I shall want a little time to consider that question, in consultation with the regional board. A certain number of civil patients are already treated in the Royal Naval Hospital, Chatham.