HC Deb 17 June 1898 vol 59 cc570-1
MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to the case of Elsie Boon, of 116, Euston Road, who was vaccinated when only five days old at Queen Charlotte's Hospital; is he aware that the child's arm was in so serious a state that it had to be treated by Dr. Thompson at the parish dispensary in Clarendoa Square, St. Pancras, for the results of vaccination, a few days after leaving the hospital; whether the Local Government Board has given its assent to the conditions under which mothers are admitted to Queen Charlotte's Hospital, which compel the child to be vaccinated within 14 days of birth; whether he is aware that the average number of children born in the hospital is about 1,100; whether the fees payable for the successful vaccination of these children go to the medical staff or to the funds of the hospital; and whether, in the Bill now before Parliament, he will introduce words forbidding compulsory vaccination in hospitals immediately after birth, and placing such children on the same footing as other children for whom the period of 12 months is to be allowed?


I have made inquiry as to the case referred to. The child was vaccinated on the sixth day after birth at Queen Charlotte's Hospital, and left the hospital quite healthy eight days afterwards. The mother took the child to a tenement house, and some five days afterwards paid a single visit to the district medical officer in consequence of an extension of the ordinary aureola around the vesicles. I am informed that the case never was serious, that the excess of redness rapidly disappeared, and that the child became and remains perfectly well. The conditions under which mothers are admitted to the hospital in question are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Board. But I am informed that, although vaccination is referred to in a notice as a condition of admission to the hospital, no mother who objects to the vaccination of her child before leaving the hospital is ever compelled to have it vaccinated. The average number of children born at the hospital during the last three years is as stated. The fees for vaccination are received by a member of the hospital staff, who acts as public vaccinator. The honourable Member has given notice of an Amendment to the Vaccination Bill, on which I think there is a good deal to be said to the effect suggested by him, and my views on that subject will be stated when the Amendment is moved.