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Hospital Patients

Volume 466: debated on Thursday 23 June 1949

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asked the Minister of Health if he will draw the attention of regional hospital boards to the importance of ensuring that priority in the allocation of private wards is given to non-paying patients who are in need of privacy on medical grounds.

My information is that boards already follow this practice, but I shall be glad to look into any case if my hon. Friend will give me particulars.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the difficulty usually arises when the private beds are filled with paying patients and a non-paying patient needs a bed on medical grounds and none is available? Will he draw the attention of the regional hospitals boards to this point?

I have made an audit as to what extent this is happening, and I have taken the return in 69 hospitals having 847 private pay-beds. Of those, 342 were at the time of the inquiry occupied by non-paying patients on medical grounds.


asked the Minister of Health if the review has been completed of the waiting lists of hospitals in respect of each of the London regional

MedicalSurgicalEar Nose and ThroatTuberculosisOthersTotal
N.W. Metropolitan1,15014,3867,0001,43848324,457
N.E. Metropolitan4539,3446,2591,0584,17221,286
S.E. Metropolitan6175,71910,1291,1285,70023,293
S.W. Metropolitan8537,9348,0821,0983,06621,033

It will be noted that a very large proportion of the waiting lists consist of Ear, Nose and Throat cases, the majority of them are awaiting tonsillectomy.