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Yardley Green Sanatorium, Birmingham (Nurses)

Volume 530: debated on Thursday 15 July 1954

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27.

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that, owing to the shortage of nurses, one ward of 50 beds and 56 beds in other wards in Yardley Green Road Sanatorium, Birmingham, may have to be closed; and, in view of the number of cases in that city awaiting admission, what action he will take to speed up the recruitment of nurses to that hospital.

I am aware of the difficulties here. The Birmingham Regional Hospital Board, with the help of the Ministry of Labour and National Service, is doing everything possible to recruit more staff.

Is the Minister aware that there are now 250 medical cases and 250 surgical cases awaiting admission to this hospital? Would he consider better and more attractive conditions and pay for these student nurses, or go one further and make more use of the scheme in Switzerland, where beds are empty and where there is no shortage of nurses?

The figures I have for the waiting list are a little different from those which the hon. Member has given, which, I think, are the figures for the group and not for Yardley Green. My figures for Yardley Green are 72 and a substantially larger figure of 265 for thoracic surgery. This is a grave problem and we are doing everything we can. I will take note of the suggestions made by the hon. Member.