HC Deb 23 November 1964 vol 702 cc895-6
37. Sir R. Thompson

asked the Minister of Health how many hospital beds are at present closed in the Croydon and Warlingham Park Hospital Group; and what steps he proposes to relieve this shortage.

Sir B. Stross

87; the regional board hopes to reopen 35 beds at Mayday Hospital next month.

Sir R. Thompson

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that reply, but does he realise that there is a large population of about 330,000 to be dealt with here, and could he tell us whether he has any further longer-term plans for meeting the present great deficiency of beds?

Sir B. Stross

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that the 35 beds at the Mayday Hospital will reopen. The 52 beds at the Waddon Hospital are closed due to shortage of nursing staff. I think that the best way to help in this matter is by improving the training school for nurses at Mayday and by the plan for a completely new school to start next year at a cost of £90,000.

Mr. Frederic Harris

As the Minister says, the trouble here, without question, is the shortage of nursing staff in Croydon. Has he any specific ideas in mind over and above what he has told us about to encourage more nurses for Croydon in order to open more beds?

Sir B. Stross

This is really a matter for the regional hospital board, but studies are in progress and an effort is being made to improve recruiting.