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Ex-Service Men (Hospital Treatment)

Volume 245: debated on Thursday 20 November 1930

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asked the Minister of Pensions (1) when the Ministry of Pensions first received intimation from the Glasgow Corporation to remove from Bellahouston where suitable alternative accommodation was looked for; and why such alternative accommodation was refused and Erskine House selected;(2) whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction that exists among ex-service men in Glasgow at the publication of his decision to have ex-service patients requiring indoor treatment removed to Erskine House from January, 1931; and whether he will reconsider his decision?

Repeated intimations 'have been received from the Glasgow Corporation that the site of the hospital is required for civic purposes, and, though they generously extended the Department's occupation on several occasions, I have, as already stated, now decided that existing requirements do not justify further occupation of the site beyond January next. After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that Erskine House is entirely suitable as alternative accommodation for the treatment of ex-service men in the West of Scotland, and I am unaware of any ground for altering this decision.

asked the Minister of Pensions if Erskine House is a Ministry of Pensions hospital and, if not, what is its constitution and how it is controlled, the purpose for which it was opened, whether that purpose has been departed from and, if so, when?

Erskine House is not a Ministry of Pensions hospital, but is controlled by a governing body of Glasgow citizens with which the Ministry of Pensions has for many years past had an arrangement on a capitation basis for the care and treatment of medical and surgical cases arising from War disability. I am not aware of any departure from the -purpose for which the hospital was established.

asked the Minister of Pensions whether, when the ex-service patients are removed from Bellahouston Hospital to Erskine House, and in view of the latter place being at a distance of 13 miles from Glasgow, he is prepared to meet the inconvenience and additional expense of relatives visiting Erskine House by issuing travelling warrants to them?

I would remind my hon. Friend that Ministry patients have been treated in this hospital for many years past. The addition to their number now arranged for does not furnish ground for the suggested provision of special financial assistance to their relatives.

asked the Minister of Pensions the maximum accommodation at Erskine House and the number of limbless ex-service men treated there during 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928 and 1929 respectively?

The present number of beds at Erskine House available for Ministry of Pensions cases is 63. During the years 1925–1929 limbless and other surgical cases were treated in the. Ministry of Pensions surgical centre at Bellahouston which will shortly be transferred, under the present 'surgical control, to Erskine House.

asked the Minister of Pensions the maximum accommodation of Bellahouston Hospital; and the number of indoor patients treated there during 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928 and 1929, and the number of outdoor ex-service patients treated during the same periods?

The present number of equipped beds in Bellahouston Hospital is 72. The number of inpatients treated at Bellahouston Hospital is as follows:

Year.Number under in-patient, treatment.
1st January, 1925277
1st January, 1926226
1st January, 1927167
1st January, 1928129
1st January, 1929101
1st January, 193093
About 300 out-patients commenced a course of treatment at the hospital during 1925 and about 100 during the early months of 1926. Since 1926 no out-patients have been treated at Bellahouston, this branch of the work having been transferred to Sauchiehall Street, where it is at present and will henceforth be conducted.