HC Deb 07 December 1944 vol 406 cc751-2W
Mr. Price

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that there is a shortage of accommodation and of staff at the Standish sanatorium at Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, and also a long list of tuberculosis patients awaiting treatment; and whether he will inquire into the matter with a view to early remedy.

Mr. Willink

Yes, Sir. This sanatorium has been seriously handicapped by the destruction of one of its ward-blocks through fire about a year ago. I have sanctioned the building of a new block. Steps have been taken with the help of the Ministry of Labour and National Service to remedy shortages in the nursing and domestic staff, and every effort is being made to fill the few vacancies that still exist.

Mr. Anderson

asked the Minister of Health the number of persons awaiting entry for sanatoria treatment from the Cleator Moor and Egremont districts; and how long the applicants have been waiting.

Mr. Willink

I am informed that there are four men and two women in the Cleator Moor and Egremont locality at present awaiting sanatorium treatment. The men have been on the waiting list respectively for eight, four, three and two weeks, and the women for 22 and 17 weeks. The two women have previously had substantial periods of sanatorium treatment and are chronic cases, which should not ordinarily be given priority over new cases.

Mr. Lipson

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that a member of the R.A.F., of whose name he has been informed, who contracted tuberculosis nearly three months ago and was then promised early treatment with the prospect of an early recovery, has not yet been admitted to a sanatorium; and will he take action to ensure that this airman and other members of the R.A.F. in a similar position receive the medical treatment they require without further delay in sanatoria as near as possible to their homes.

Mr. Willink

This case was notified as one of tuberculosis on 23rd September, and arrangements were made for admitting the patient to a sanatorium near his home at the earliest opportunity after his discharge. In the meantime he is receiving in a Royal Air Force hospital treatment which I am advised is not materially different from sanatorium treatment and I am informed that his condition is improving. Apart from other difficulties of war-time, the present shortage of doctors and nurses, to which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service and I are giving anxious consideration, unfortunately make it impossible at the present time to avoid delay in admissions to sanatoria, whether of civilians or of ex-Service men.