HC Deb 16 April 1907 vol 172 cc771-2

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that evidence was given at the inquest, held at Poplar on 9th April, on a poor woman named Baker, aged eighty-one, who was ordered by the parish doctor to be removed to the sick asylum, to the effect that this removal was effected by two officers or servants of the guardians of the Stepney union who were both drunk; that the witness's daughter protested against the removal of her mother by men in such a condition; that the men dropped the old woman on the pavement; that when they arrived at the asylum the ambulance was kept twenty minutes before the sick woman could be taken out, as the driver of the ambulance could not find the key; will he say whether the medical officer or the relieving officer is responsible for the safe and proper removal of sick persons for indoor relief; and, if so, whether he will recommend to the Stepney guardians that when aged people in grave sickness are removed from their own homes the guardians should send a doctor or nurse to supervise the removal.


The case to which my hon. friend refers is, I think, that of a woman named Lewis. I have seen the depositions taken at the inquest in that case, which show that the facts are substantially as stated by him. I understand that the guardians have taken some action in this matter, but I am making further investigations with regard to it. As regards the point referred to in the last part of the Question, the clerk to the guardians informs me that in cases of removal to the infirmary or sick asylum, where no female friend or relative can accompany the patient the relieving officer and the medical officer are empowered to engage the services of a female attendant to be present at the removal. In this instance two daughters accompanied the patient.