Boy's Death, Wembley

Oral Answers to Questions — Hospitals – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th April 1955.

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Photo of Mr David Griffiths Mr David Griffiths , Rother Valley 12:00 am, 4th April 1955

asked the Minister of Health what staff changes have been made at Wembley Hospital because of the death of a boy, following an operation, on 14th February, 1955.

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

No staff changes have yet been made, but the question of appointing an additional registrar is under consideration.

Photo of Mr David Griffiths Mr David Griffiths , Rother Valley

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the uneasiness which has followed the inquest on the boy, by a coroner who is himself a doctor, about the calling, conduct and adequacy of reputable men? Is he also aware that two medical men have given me the impression that the hospital is not in keeping with what hospitals should be in adequacy of staff?

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

I do not think we should allow any such impression to go out about a hospital without very much more evidence than the hon. Member produces. So far as the coroner's opinion is concerned, his verdict was death from misadventure. He considered that the child received competent medical attention, that all proper precautions had been taken and that everything possible had been done by the persons present. In view of that, I think that the answer which I have given is probably the right one.

Photo of Mr David Griffiths Mr David Griffiths , Rother Valley

I am afraid that what the Minister has stated is not exactly correct. Will he look further into the matter? If he will read a copy of the full autopsy report presented at the inquest, he will see that there is some confusion about the time between notification by the nurse and the arrival of an adequate member of the staff. Is he aware that a consulting surgeon living in close proximity is on call but that very often it is not possible to call him?

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

I have told the House what the verdict was. I have seen a very full report of the case, including the details of the times to which the hon. Gentleman has referred. However, in view of what he has said, I am willing to call for a further report and go into the whole matter.