§ Mr. Manuel
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of beds in hospitals and sanatoria which are unoccupied owing to the shortage of nursing staff.
The returns for 30th September last showed 5,078 beds unoccupied and unstaffed in Scottish hospitals including sanatoria. This does not mean that all those beds would be occupied if staff were available because beds are frequently empty for a variety of other causes such as normal turnover of patients, seasonal variations in demand, maintenance of reserves for epidemics and other emergencies. Also some wards are under repair.180W
I regret that precise statistics are not available but the hon. Member will find some information on the subject in Farm Economics Nos. 17 and 19 issued by the Department of Agriculture for Scotland, copies of which I am sending to him.