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Rehabilitation Treatment

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 8 April 1943

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asked the Minister of Health whether he will publish for public guidance the exact nature of his notification to the large hospitals throughout Britain of the coming review of rehabilitation measures for the sick and injured?

Yes, Sir. A copy of the letter which I have sent to a number of hospitals on the subject of rehabilitation treatment will be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the letter:

"Ministry of Health,

Whitehall, S.W.I


Rehabilitation Treatment at Hospitals.

I am directed by the Minister of Health to refer to the recently published report (Cmd. 6415) of the Inter-departmental Committee on the Rehabilitation and Re-settlement of Disabled Persons, presided over by Mr. George Tomlinson, M.P., Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour. The report contains some important recommendations as to rehabilitation measures associated with the hospital services, but it will be seen that in the main it endorses what has already been done in this direction under the stimulus of the Emergency Hospital Scheme, and urges that further developments should be secured as soon as possible so far as wartime conditions will allow, for the benefit of patients suffering from general surgical and medical conditions, as well as of those suffering from fractures and other physical injuries.

The Minister agrees fully with the principle of these recommendations in their application not only to the patients included in the Emergency Hospital Scheme, for which he is responsible, but also to the general body of patients treated at hospitals. He recognises, however, the limitations imposed at the present time by other calls on skilled personnel and on labour and materials.

As a first step he has decided to conduct a detailed review of the rehabilitation measures at present carried out in the larger hospitals throughout the country and for this purpose has instructed his Hospital Officers in each Region and Sector to arrange for visits by members of their staffs, with whom may be associated other medical men with experience and interest in this field of medicine and having knowledge of hospitals in the area. The aim is to explore by full and frank discussion with those concerned what expedients hospitals can be advised to adopt to secure the greatest possible development of rehabilitation measures under wartime conditions. The Minister feels sure that hospital authorities will give every assistance to those who visit their hospitals in connection with this enquiry.

I am, Sir,

Your obedient Servant.