§ 19. Mr. Skinner
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress is being made towards the abolition of pay beds in NHS hospitals.
§ Mrs. Castle
The proposals to which I referred in my statement of 15th December—[Vol. 902, c. 971–79]—have now been put by the medical and dental professions to a ballot of their consultant members. If, as I hope, the consultants accept these proposals the Government will introduce legislation to implement them.
§ 29. Mr. George Gardiner
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how 158W care accommodation units there are for the mentally sick and handicapped in Birmingham; and how this compares with other comparable cities.
§ Dr. Owen
Information about homes and hostels for the mentally ill and mentally handicapped provided by Birmingham Metropolitan District Council and the other metropolitan district councils with populations over half a million as at 31st December 1975 is given in the following table. Local authority provision is, however, supplemented to a varying extent by accommodation provided privately and by voluntary organisations and I will write to my hon. Friend.
many patients received private medical treatment in NHS pay beds in the last four years for which figures are available.
§ 36. Mr. Aitken
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many patients used private pay beds at NHS hospitals in the last year for which figures are available.
§ Mrs. Castle
The number of deaths and discharges of paying patients who occupied private pay beds in NHS hospitals in England during the last four years for which figures are available was as follows:
1971 112,928 1972 118,416 1973 114,367 1974 111,418
§ 30. Mr. Kilroy-Silk
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress she has made in her policy of separating pay beds from the NHS by legislation this Session.
§ Mrs. Castle
I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply today to my hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner).
§ 38. Mr. Stonehouse
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will make a statement on the provision of pay beds in National Health Service hospitals for patients from overseas.159W
§ 51. Dr. Vaughan
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will make a statement on any arrangements she has made for the regular admission of private patients from overseas to National Health Service beds.
§ Mrs Castle
In the consultative document on pay beds I indicated that I would be willing to continue arrangements similar to those which operate at present whereby overseas patients requiring specialised treatment not available in their own countries can get that treatment in NHS hospitals provided there was no detriment to NHS patients and there was no subsidy by the NHS. Patients would pay the full economic cost, and in the case of whole-time consultants the money would go, as at present, to hospital funds and not to the consultant.
Under the proposals which I announced to the House on 15th December—[Vol. 902, c. 971–9.]—health authorities would be allowed to provide and charge for certain specialised services to patients, whatever their country of origin, where the Secretary of State was satisfied that these specialised services could not reasonably be provided in the private sector to a satisfactory standard, that there would be no disadvantage to NHS patients and that all patients were being admitted on the same basis of medical priority. As at present no professional fees would be received by whole-time staff from these arrangements but staff on a part-time contract would be entitled to receive fees.