asked the Minister of Health what was the ratio of admissions from outside the area of the Gateshead and District Hospital Management Committee to the total figure of admissions to the Dunston Hill Hospital during 1963; and to what extent the figure of outside admissions was taken into account when assessing the bed requirements of the Gateshead Group and its effect upon the problem of accommodation for geriatrics.
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that during the last 12 months in the Gateshead group of hospitals the waiting lists have swollen by one-third and waiting periods are something like 2 to 12 months and more? In any case, this does not take account of the time spent in waiting to see the consultant. Would the hon. Gentleman not agree that the admissions from outside the Gateshead Group are aggravating the situation? Can he tell me what action is being taken to bring about a decrease in the waiting lists?
There are really two points here. The first is that at Dunston Hill war pensioners have a first call on the service and it is also a regional neurosurgical rehabilitation unit. Some beds are used for gynaecological and ortho- paedic cases from the adjacent South Shields Hospital Management Committee. It is thus serving a larger area. On the second point relating to waiting lists, I should like notice of the question. May I look into the matter and write to the hon. Gentleman?