Ophthalmic Service (Factories).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Supply. – in the House of Commons on 17th June 1942.

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Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

asked the Minister of Supply the incidence of eye accidents in factories under his Department, and the steps taken for their prevention and treatment?

Photo of Sir Andrew Duncan Sir Andrew Duncan , City of London

Returns of eye injuries at Royal Ordnance factories have not hitherto been abstracted from case records, but arrangements have now been made to obtain these returns. Adequate preventive measures are taken by the provision of guards or goggles where necessary. Minor injuries are treated at the factory surgery, but where the injury is serious the employee is sent to hospital.

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

Does that answer not emphasise the need for the services of ophthalmic surgeons, who understand the very important questions that arise in injuries of this kind?

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

asked the Minister of Supply what arrangements are made for the service of ophthalmic surgeons to be available to factory workers under his Department; and to what extent he relies on the service of sight-testing opticians?

Photo of Sir Andrew Duncan Sir Andrew Duncan , City of London

Eye examination is a part of the normal medical examination by factory medical officers in the Royal Ordnance factories. Under present arrangements, ordinary cases would be referred by the factory medical officer to sight-testing opticians on the register of the Joint Council of Qualified Opticians. The arrangements also provide for consultations where necessary between the factory medical officers and ophthalmic surgeons.

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

Is it not desirable to make use of the regular services of ophthalmic surgeons, who alone can see the really important damage that may be at the back of these injuries and which cannot always be appreciated by sight-testing opticians?

Photo of Sir Andrew Duncan Sir Andrew Duncan , City of London

There are cases which it may be necessary to refer to skilled eye surgeons, and this is done.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Are not eye-testing opticians more competent at discovering these things than ordinary doctors?

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

Is all possible use being made of the services of ophthalmic surgeons?

Photo of Sir Andrew Duncan Sir Andrew Duncan , City of London

Yes, Sir. The hon. Member brought a deputation to see me, as a result of which we are in contact with the eye surgeons and have made an offer to them in connection with a number of our factories.