HC Deb 23 October 1961 vol 646 cc548-50
24. Mr. Dugdale

asked the Minister of Health if he will state the numbers of children now awaiting treatment for the removal of tonsils and adenoids in West Bromwich.

Miss Pitt

574, on 30th September.

Mr. Dugdale

Can the hon. Lady say why she is able to give this information, in view of the fact that the West Bromwich and District Hospital Management Committee stated that it was not in a position to do so and flatly refused to give it to the education committee, because it stated that it had not got it?

Miss Pitt

I have obtained the information from the regional hospital board, and it concerns not only the West Bromwich Hospital but the Hallam Hospital, too.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Is my hon. Friend aware that there are people all over the country waiting for tonsils operations, and that this is causing a great deal of time to be wasted? Is she also aware that one of my constituents has been waiting six months, is still waiting and has been told that it cannot be done until December or even after Christmas? Will she look into the question of the long waiting list and see whether something can be done to improve the present appalling situation?

Miss Pitt

If my hon. Friend will put a Question down about a particular area I will obtain the information. In general, the position is that urgent cases are dealt with without any delay.

Mr. Denis Howell

Is it not assuming the proportions of a national scandal that if any of these 574 children or their parents are prepared to pay they could have their tonsils taken out next day? What is the Minister doing about it?

Miss Pitt

I have just said to the House that any urgent case is dealt with immediately. In the area with which the hon. Member is concerned, the regional hospital board and the hospital management committee are consulting to see what can be done to provide increased sessions to reduce the waiting list.