§ Dame Joan Vickers
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the shortage of nurses for the Freedom Fields and Greenbank Hospitals in Plymouth has meant that surgical beds are being closed; and if he will consult the Surgeon Rear-Admiral in charge of the Royal Naval Hospital, Stonehouse, Plymouth, to see if he can take in extra surgical or medical patients.
§ Mr. Alison
Yes, I am aware that a shortage of nurses has led to the temporary closure of 20 surgical beds at the Freedom Fields Hospital, and a small number of beds at the Greenbank Hospital are closed as part of a ward redecora-tion programme. The South Western Regional Hospital Board is already successfully operating a system for the temporary employment of married nurses in Plymouth, and is hoping to increase the numbers. There is already close co-operation between the local hospital management committee and the Royal Naval Hospital, and the amount of help needed is reviewed each week.