§ Mr. Groves
asked the Minister of Health whether he will instruct medical officers of health to confer with the general practitioners in their areas and with the authorities of emergency service hospitals in order to ensure that the fullest possible use shall be made of the medical manpower of their districts, without the danger that two or more authorities will call for the services of an individual practitioner whilst the services of other practitioners are not employed?
Mr. M. MacDonald
Instructions were issued some weeks ago to my regional officers with the object of securing the result desired by the hon. Member.
§ Mr. Groves
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the Sevenoaks rural district covers an area of 100-square miles, and contains only two aid-posts, one hospital and one mobile unit; and whether he is satisfied that the arrangements are such as to prevent the isolation of individual villages in this area, so that injuries sustained in these villages would have to be treated otherwise than through the machinery of the official air-raid precautions scheme?
In accordance with the established principles of mutual assistance, the rural district can count on receiving help from four mobile units stationed just outside its borders and in the town of Sevenoaks, and I am satisfied that reasonable provision has been made for the needs of the area.
§ Mr. Groves
asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the possibility that rural communities may be isolated by intensive enemy action, he will encourage the making in such communities of arrangements for the setting up of temporary emergency hospitals for injured persons who cannot immediately be removed to distant aid-posts and hospitals?
A situation such as that envisaged by the hon. Member is intended to be met by mobile units which would make use of buildings noted in advance as suitable for the temporary accommodation of patients. In addition, my officers are earmarking large buildings in various parts of the country for use as hospitals in the event of the main hospitals needing to be supplemented or replaced in an emergency.828W
§ Mr. Pritt
asked the Minister of Health, with reference to a certain hospital the name of which has been communicated to the Minister, what is the total accommodation for patients, military or civilian; how many persons are employed on the staff; what air-raid protection of what kind is provided for the patients and staff and for how many of them; and, in particular, what protection of what kind is provided for children's orthopaedic cases numbering over 100?
the maximum accommodation at the hospital referred to is for 957 patients including 200 orthopaedic cases. The total staff at present is 478 most of whom are non-resident. I am informed by the authorities of the hospital that cover points have been selected in internal corridors and basements to afford protection for ambulant patients and for staff not required to remain on duty in the wards. Meanwhile, my technical advisers are in touch with the hospital in order to decide whether specially constructed shelters should be provided in addition. All windows in the hospital have been protected to reduce danger from flying glass; and the protection of the glass-fronted wards used for the children's orthopaedic cases is under discussion between the hospital's architect and my technical advisers. It is expected that a satisfactory scheme will be devised.