HC Deb 24 February 1958 vol 583 cc12-3
22. Mrs. McLaughlin

asked the Minister of Health how many nurses were employed in the Home Nursing Service at the end of 1955 and 1956, respectively.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Mr. Richard Thompson)

The figures are 9,884 and 10,104.

23. Mrs. McLaughlin

asked the Minister of Health how many visits to patients were paid by home nurses in 1955 and 1956, respectively; and how many of these were made to people over the age of 65 years at the time of the first visit during the year 1956.

Mr. R. Thompson

The figures are 24,292,250 in 1955 and 24,652,655 in 1956; including, in 1956, 13,598,502 visits to patients aged 65 and over at the time of the first visit.

Mrs. McLaughlin

I thank my hon. Friend for that Answer. Is he aware that there is a great and growing need for the visits of these nurses to the older people in the community? Is he further aware that by such visits these old people are often enabled to stay at home with relatives who, without the assistance of the service, would be unable to have them when they are in failing health and no longer able to look after themselves?

Mr. Thompson indicated assent.

Dr. Summerskill

May I ask whether these numbers of visits met the demand?

Mr. Thompson

I have no information about that, but the figures I have quoted show that there is a welcome increase in the facilities for home care, particularly to the aged.