HC Deb 05 April 1887 vol 313 cc480-1
MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether his attention has been called to the recent accidental death, under distressing circumstances, of one of the patients in the City Epidemic Hospital at Aberdeen, and to the complaints made as to the management of that Institution; and, whether he proposes to direct any public inquiry into its management, or to take any other steps, with a view to testing the complaints referred to?

MR. ESSLEMONT (Aberdeen, E.)

asked the Lord Advocate, in view of the sad accident which occurred recently at the City Hospital in Aberdeen, and the responsibility now attached to Local Authorities under the Public Health Acts, Whether the Government will consider the advisability of placing public hospitals under regular Government inspection?

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. H. A. MACDONALD) (Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Universities)

My attention was called to this case by the hon. Member and by the hon. Member for East Aberdeenshire. On inquiry, I found that the Procurator Fiscal had already, in the ordinary course of duty, made a full investigation, and I received a Report from him. The Public Health Committee of the Aberdeen Town Council have also made a full inquiry, the Report of which is printed. I was satisfied, from the Procurator Fiscal's Report, that there was no case for a criminal prosecution; but that a grave indiscretion had been committed in not having the unfortunate woman sufficiently under observation when suffering from fever, which might at any moment develop delirium, and in her not having been more frequently visited by the medical attendant after the accident. The Report of the Public Health Committee confirms these views; and I am glad to learn that the Town Council of Aberdeen have, in consequence of that Report, risked the Superintendent of the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh to advise them as to the future arrangements of the Hospital, with a view to place the Institution in which the accident happened in a more satisfactory state. As the proper authority is evidently alive to the importance of the matter, and is attending to it in an efficient manner, I do not propose to take any further stops. In reply to the hon. Member for East Aberdeenshire, I have to say that this is a question of general policy, which cannot be conveniently answered unless longer Notice is given.