HC Deb 11 March 1963 vol 673 c955
19. Mr. Wainwright

asked the Minister of Health what plans he has to enable the Sheffield Regional Hospital Board to reduce the waiting list of children who require hospital treatment.

Mr. Braine

I would refer the hon. Member to the programme announced in Command Paper 1604.

Mr. Wainwright

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that the Government are really doing nothing in this matter? Does not he know that figures supplied on 22nd January this year prove that since December, 1959, the number on the waiting list in the Sheffield area has gone up by 1,086, making a total now of 11,824 children on the waiting list? Is it not time that the Department did something instead of talking about doing something on paper?

Mr. Braine

The number of children on the waiting list has not varied very greatly in recent years, and it is not an indication of the number of children requiring urgent treatment. It is not true that nothing is being done, because work on the replacement of the out-of-date wards at the Sheffield Children's Hospital—a teaching hospital—is in progress, and additional beds for mentally subnormal children are currently being provided at various hospitals. I suspect that the hon. Gentleman may have particular cases in mind. If he has and will let me have details, I will look into the matter to satisfy myself and him that they are being dealt with properly.