§ 43. Mr. Dye
asked the Minister of Health how many beds are provided in Norfolk by the hospital board for chronic sick patients; what is the percentage regularly occupied; what is the cost, per patient, per week; how many are provided by the county council under joint-user arrangement; and what is the average cost, per patient, per week.
§ Mr. R. Thompson
One thousand and thirty-six beds are provided and 87.4 per cent. were occupied on average in 1957. Of these beds 420 are in chronic sick hospitals, where the weekly costs range from £7 10s. 10d. to £11 8s. 10d., and 70 are provided under joint user arrangements with the Norfolk County Council at an average weekly cost of £5 12s. 7d. The remainder are in general hospitals where separate costs for chronic sick patients are not available.
§ Mr. Dye
In view of the comparatively lower cost for those in the joint user establishments, and in view of the advantages there are in such establishments, in that the old people do not have to be transferred from one to the other, is it the policy of the Ministry to continue that system or to extend it or to separate them entirely as between county council and hospital board?
§ Mr. Thompson
The general position is that the regional hospital board acquires responsibility for these patients only when they become too ill for the county council to look after.