HC Deb 19 March 1901 vol 91 cc401-2
MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that no provision exists in cases of illness among officers at Shoeburyness, there being no hospital, no arrangement for nurses, and not even a single member of the Army Medical Corps: whether he is aware that this week a young officer who had served in South Africa was taken ill with double pleurisy which resulted in double pneumonia, that he was left in his own quarters, where he died, and had it not been for his parents would have had no nurse or medical appliances; that recently in consequence of an officer developing scarlet fever, the whole batch of officers in that officer's quarter had to be put under tents; and whether immediate steps will be taken to provide a suitable hospital, nurses, and appliances at Shoeburyness for officers when taken ill there.


It has not been found possible to provide accommodation for hospital wards for officers at home stations except at Netley and Woolwich, and in special cases at Aldershot. Officers, except when suffering from wounds or illness from active service, are only admitted to these hospitals on the recommendation of a medical board. At Shoeburyness there are two medical officers. For the ease of pneumonia one. day and one night nurse were engaged from the beginning by the medical officer and remained to the last. As regards the case of scarlet fever some young officers residing in the same corridor were very properly removed. It does not appear a hardship that they were placed under canvas.


Can the right hon. Gentleman undertake that some accommodation should be provided for these severe cases, so that an officer need not die without any attention, as this young officer did?


The officer in question was attended by a proper medical officer, and by a day nurse and a night nurse, and I do not admit that in the officers' quarters proper attention is not given to officers who are ill.