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North Staffordshire Infirmary Stoke-on-Trent

Oral Answers to Questions — Hospitals – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th April 1957.

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Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent South 12:00 am, 15th April 1957

asked the Minister of Health why the undertakings made have not been carried out at the North Staffordshire Infirmary, Stoke-on-Trent; why the capital expenditure has not been allowed; what are the present proposals; and if the requirements will now be granted as matters of urgency.

Photo of Mr John Vaughan-Morgan Mr John Vaughan-Morgan , Reigate

I am not aware of any undertakings which have not been carried out. As my right hon. Friend told the hon. Member on 4th March, it is hoped to begin a new casualty and accident department next year.

Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent South

asked the Minister of Health (1) if his attention has been directed to the proceedings of the inquests held at Stoke-on-Trent on those who died after undergoing operations at the North Staffordshire Infirmary, Stoke-on-Trent, and the evidence given at the inquests by Dr. E. M. MacKay-Scollar, Director of the Public Health Laboratory, Stafford; and what action he is taking in regard to this hospital; and

(2) if he will make a full statement on the evidence of the tetanus spores which were shown to have been widespread throughout the operating theatre of the North Staffordshire Infirmary, Stoke-on-Trent; and what action has been taken in the past by the Birmingham Regional Hospital Board.

Photo of Mr John Vaughan-Morgan Mr John Vaughan-Morgan , Reigate

My right hon. Friend is aware of the evidence given at the inquests and is awaiting a final Report from the regional hospital board on the full investigation, which is not yet complete. The hospital authorities closed the three operating theatres as soon as the outbreak occurred and they will remain closed until any necessary alterations have been made.

Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent South

While making no reflection whatever upon the medical and nursing staff, may I ask if it is the intention of the Ministry to have a close investigation into this matter, and especially into the administrative and managerial side?

Photo of Mr John Vaughan-Morgan Mr John Vaughan-Morgan , Reigate

I think my right hon. Friend would like to await the final report before he comments.