HC Deb 07 July 1958 vol 591 c16
21. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Minister of Health how many patients are on the waiting lists for admission to hospitals in the Accrington area.

Mr. Walker-Smith

1,280 at 25th June.

Mr. Hynd

In view of the alarming figure, can the right hon. and learned Gentleman say what is being done to try to shorten this waiting list? Is he certain that the waiting list is not so large because of the surgeons being linked up with patients who can afford to pay to get to the head of the queue?

Mr. Walker-Smith

With regard to the latter part of the Question, there is no reason for thinking this is the case. In regard to the first part of the Question, the main projected easement of the situation is in the proposed 100-bed extension at the Blackburn Royal Infirmary in the same hospital management committee group, which should, of course, considerably help the position in Accrington.

Dr. Summerskill

In view of the very surprising figure, can the Minister let the House know which departments are in greatest need of beds, whether for E.N.T. cases or for malignant cases?

Mr. Walker-Smith

Yes. The position is worst in respect of general surgery; the E.N.T. list is long, but there is no worsening trend in respect of that. Only in respect of general surgery and orthopaedics is there any worsening trend.

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