HC Deb 28 May 1903 vol 123 cc102-3
MR. HERBERT SAMUEL (Yorkshire, Cleveland)

To ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that an outbreak of ophthalmia at the Hanwell Poor Law Schools has affected 230 children between 4th April and 16th May of this year; whether he has any official Reports showing that this outbreak has been due to the premature return of partially cured children from the ophthalmic school to the main school; and, if so, will he state what steps are being taken in the matter.

(Answered, by Mr. Walter Long.) I am aware of the outbreak which has recently occurred at the schools referred to. The managers obtained the services of Dr. Sydney Stephenson, and I have seen a Report by him on the subject. It appears that the outbreak was a mild form of conjunctivitis or blight. This is an ailment which is very prevalent among children and which readily yields to suitable treatment. I am not aware of any Report to show that the outbreak was due to the cause referred to in the Question. Indeed the evidence indicates that the infection was introduced into the schools by a child recently admitted from Southwark. I am informed that the managers re-opened a portion of the former ophthalmic school for the reception of the children affected, and I understand that the action which they have taken on the advice of Dr. Stephenson is being attended with success. Only sixty of the children now remain isolated and under treatment.