HC Deb 15 December 1893 vol 19 cc1486-8
MR. G. ALLSOPP (Worcester)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether, in July last, the Local Government Board received a complaint from the Worcester Corporation that a patient, who had been taken ill with small-pox at Hay, was, on the 24th May, 1893, discharged by the Hay authorities and taken by one of their officials to the railway station at Whitney, some four miles from Hay Railway Station (because the officials at the Hay Railway Station had refused to issue a ticket for him) and his railway fare paid to Worcester; and that two days after his arrival in Worcester the patient was taken to a doctor, and also to the Worcester Medical Officer of Health, and found to be still in an infectious state, and was removed to the Worcester Isolation Hospital; and will he explain why the Local Government Board declined to institute an inquiry into this case or to express any opinion as to it; and what steps the Local Government Board have taken to test the accuracy of the facts laid before them by the Worcester Corporation?


On July 191nst the Health Committee of the Worcester Corporation forwarded to the Local Government Board a copy of correspondence with the Hay Local Board and their Medical Officer of Health, from which it appeared that a patient suffering from small-pox, who had been under treatment by that Medical Officer of Health from April 14 to May 19, was pronounced by him on the latter date to be no longer capable of conveying infection; and that the man did not leave until five days afterwards, when he was furnished with a completely fresh outfit, his own clothes having been destroyed. He arrived at Worcester and remained in a common lodging-house from the 24th till the 26th of May, when he was seen by the Worcester Medical Officer of Health, who considered him to be still in an infections condition, and had him removed to the infectious hospital, where he remained until July 13. There is no allegation of his having in fact spread small-pox in the common lodging-house. The question in dispute, between the medical man who, had treated the case and other medical men who had subsequently seen it, was as to its infectiousness at a particular stage of convalescence, and this question was not one which could have been conclusively determined by any inquiry by the Board at the time the case was brought under their attention, and the Board did not consider that they were in a position to express any opinion as to the correctness or otherwise of the different contentions respecting the case.