§ Captain BOURNE
asked the Minister of Health whether, seeing that inspectors appointed by the Ministry inspect every London casual ward at least once in every four months. he will state how often on the average the inspectors visit 2309W provincial casual wards; whether they inspect the provincial wards at night after the casuals are in bed; and whether he will arrange that the provincial casual wards shall be inspected at least once every four months, and that at least one inspection per year shall be at night?
§ Mr. NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN
Casual wards in the provinces are inspected at least once in every year, and more often when the conditions of the wards make closer inspection desirable; visits are not infrequently paid at night, and nearly all inspections are in the nature of surprise visits. I am satisfied that the present system of visiting according to the needs of the case is preferable to a system of visits at fixed periods or times.
§ Mr. SCURR
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the report of the master of the workhouse recently submitted to the Amersham Board of Guardians and forwarded to his Department, giving statistics of the overcrowding and other grave conditions prevailing in the casual wards of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, and Middlesex; and, in view of the facts submitted, what steps he proposes to take in the matter?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
My attention has not been called to this report, but I am aware that there has been considerable pressure on the accommodation of certain casual wards in the counties mentioned. Steps have already been taken to meet the situation by building now wards, extending existing wards, and reopening wards which had been closed.