HC Deb 28 January 1963 vol 670 cc554-5
23. Mr. Prior

asked the Minister of Health if he will state the number of patients waiting for orthopaedic operations at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital on 31st June, 1962, and on 31st December, 1962, including the orthopaedic list at Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

Mr. Braine

The numbers are 1,152 and 1,217.

24. Mr. Prior

asked the Minister of Health what consultations he has had with the East Anglia Regional Hospital Board on the subject of the further pro vision of accommodation and staff for the surgical department of orthopaedic cases.

Mr. Braine

An additional consultant is being appointed, orthopaedic beds at Norwich have been increased by 18, and 30 more, mainly for orthopaedic work, will be available at Gorleston in April.

Mr. Prior

Is my hon. Friend aware that there is a very serious position and that, as shown in his previous Answer, many people are awaiting treatment, in particular surgical cases, which need far more treatment earlier than they are getting at the moment? Is he aware that there is a shortage both of staff and of buildings? Will he try to speed up the provision as best he can?

Mr. Braine

Yes, Sir. My hon. Friend may like to know that the regional hospital board intends to bring Gorleston Hospital into use from 1st April for cold surgery, which in practice will be mainly orthopaedic, when the medical work is transferred to the new buildings at Great Yarmouth. I have no reason to believe that the board will not be able to go on recruiting staff.

Mr. H. Hynd

Will the Minister say whether the waiting list in this case exists for the same reason as in certain other hospitals, where if a patient pays something to the doctor he can jump the queue and get in before those on the waiting list?

Mr. Braine

If the hon. Member has any information to support that allegation I hope that he will let me have it.

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