HC Deb 30 April 1968 vol 763 cc989-90
14. Mr. Costain

asked the Minister of Health how many patients are on waiting lists for in-patient treatment in hospitals; and how this figure compares with the figures in the previous three years.

Mr. Snow

I will, with permission, circulate the figures in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Costain

Will the Minister give us a little more information as to whether things are improving? Could he tell us whether the figures are the result of a shortage of hospital accommodation, nurses or doctors, or all three?

Mr. Snow

The tendency, as shown by the figures which will appear in the OFFICIAL REPORT, is for a slight worsening of the situation, but it is only slight. The answer to the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question is that there is an uncovering of latent demand, resulting from new services being provided, such as cytology screening and other matters. There are signs, but only signs, of a slight tendency towards improvement.

Dr. Gray

Does my hon. Friend think that the introduction of a "clocking-in" and "clocking-off" system for nurses at Northgate Hospital, Great Yarmouth, is likely to help the turndown in patients? Has this been done on his instructions?

Mr. Snow

I would like to have a look at that one.

Following are the figures:

Position at 31st December Number of Patients on Waiting Lists
1967 537,005
1966 536,447
1965 517,224
1964 498,915