HC Deb 29 October 1954 vol 531 cc317-8W
Captain Kerby

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that, in addition to a charge against hospital patients, admitted as casualty cases, of un to £20 a week for the use of a private ward, the use of such a ward can automatically deprive the patient of his right to free treatment, and authorise the hospital surgeon to make substantial charges for his own services and those of his anaesthetist; and whether he will amend his regulations so that the use of a private ward in such circumstances does not automatically entitle the surgeon to charge.

Mr. Iain Macleod

No amendment to the Regulations appears necessary. A patient needing urgent admission may be admitted to a pay bed without charge if other suitable accommodation is not available. A patient who is in need of privacy on medical grounds is entitled to receive it under the National Health Service without charge, and would be admitted to a pay bed only at his own request or that of his representative. A patient who so elects to be admitted to a pay bed normally receives his medical treatment under private arrangements and is, therefore, liable to pay medical fees as well as hospital charges.