HC Deb 23 June 1986 vol 100 cc64-5W
Mr. D. E. Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans the local health authorities have to formulate to meet with the tasks which might be placed on them with regard to treating United States casualties under the United States-United Kingdom lines of communication agreement in National Health Service hospitals in the event of an emergency.

Mr. Whitney

The Government are making contingency plans for the best use of all National Health Service resources in the event of war and these plans will cover the treatment in United Kingdom hospitals of both British and American military casualties should war in Europe ever break out. These plans will be incorporated in planning for the National Health Service as a whole in time of crisis or war, and are part of a continuous process. The United States is also establishing its own contingency hospitals which would be activitated in a crisis; these will be equipped, manned and financed by the United States Government and would reduce the burden on the National Health Service.

In transition to war, health authorities, if so directed, will cease to admit all but emergency cases and will arrange for patients whose retention is not medically essential to be sent home, the purpose being to free hospitals to deal with civil and military casualties. The latter may include United States service personnel.