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Hospital Pay-Beds

Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 18 May 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of Section 5 pay-beds were unoccupied in the hospitals under his direction during each of the last three years.

Figures are at present available only for the year ended 31st March, 1953, during which, on the average, less than a quarter of the Section 5 pay-beds were unoccupied.

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman say whether steps are taken, at regular intervals, to review the proportion of these beds, so that the best use can be made of them for those on the general waiting list?


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many Section 5 pay-beds there are in all hospitals under his direction; and what percentage they constitute of the total.

There are 913 such beds in Scottish National Health Service hospitals, or 1½ per cent, of all staffed beds.

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that patients on the ordinary list who are awaiting admission to hospital have to wait about six months, but if they are prepared to pay 11s. per day they can be accommodated immediately? If I send the Joint Undersecretary particulars of a case in my constituency will he look into it?

I can tell the hon. Member that the percentage occupancy of these beds is considered to be very high. It is about 75 per cent., as against 83½ per cent, for all the beds in hospitals. That is considered to be quite a high percentage, in view of the fact that there are so few of these beds, and that they are scattered all over the country.

Is not it the policy of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman's Department to use these beds for non-paying patients when they are not being occupied by paying patients?