HC Deb 21 November 1946 vol 430 cc152-3W
92. Mr. G. Williams

asked the Minister of Health if he will take steps to provide temporary hospital accommodation, together with nursing facilities, for those suffering from tuberculosis, in view of the fact that the present shortage compels many sufferers to remain outside and thereby spread their infection.

Mr. Bevan

The problem is one of staffing rather than accommodation, and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and I are doing all we can to solve it.

97. Mr. Haworth

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware of the shortage of sanatorium accommodation for the treatment of tuberculosis in Liverpool; that cases notified as long ago as 19th April, 1946, and 28th June, 1946, have still not been found accommodation; and whether anything is being done to speed up the provision of facilities for this important work.

Mr. Bevan

Yes, Sir. The same difficulty is unhappily common to most parts of the country, and my hon. Friend will no doubt have noted my earlier reply today to the hon. Member for Tonbridge (Mr. G. Williams) about this problem.

107. Mr. Chamberlain

asked the Minister of Health the present average waiting period for tubercular patients recommended for residential treatment.

Mr. Bevan

This information is not available without detailed inquiry from all the authorities concerned, and would not be significant owing to the many factors affecting the length of the waiting period.

119. Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the Minister of Health what steps are being taken to provide suitable accommodation for the 1,000 tuberculosis patients now waiting for admission because of the shortage of nurses in South Wales, where beds and all other facilities are now available.

Mr. Bevan

The latest available information is that there are about 800 tuberculosis patients in the whole of Wales awaiting institutional treatment, and that there are about 600 sanatorium beds closed for lack of nurses. All possible steps are being taken to remedy the present acute shortage of nurses throughout the country as quickly as practicable, but this is bound to take time.

123. Mr. Messer

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware of the anomalies in the payment of treatment allowances under Circular 266/T, in some areas being as low as 5 per cent.; what is the cause of the wide variation in the administration of this service; and if he will give figures showing the proportion of cost of these allowances in the different counties and county boroughs of England.

Mr. Bevan

I have no information to suggest that any tuberculosis authorities are not carrying out their responsibilities in this respect, but if my hon. Friend will let me have any information that suggests the contrary I will look into it. The amounts expended by respective authorities offer no true basis of comparison since these must obviously be dependent on differences of population and tuberculosis incidence.