HC Deb 19 April 1923 vol 162 cc2255-6

asked the Home Secretary what are the instructions to the Metropolitan Police Force in the case of a policeman being called to anyone in the streets suffering from illness of any kind and requiring the attendance of a doctor; is a constable empowered to call medical assistance from the nearest doctor, or must he call the police surgeon; and is any charge incurred borne by the police funds?


In dealing with a case of illness in the street, the action to be taken by police must largely depend on circumstances, but their instructions are to obtain medical aid for the patient, either by securing his removal to hospital, or by summoning the nearest medical man, who may or may not be the police surgeon. Any charge made by a doctor called by the police is borne by the police fund, unless the patient's friends offer to meet the charge.


asked the Home Secretary what are the arrangements made by the Metropolitan police for the call of ambulances in the case of street or other accidents in London; do the police provide and use any ambulances of their own; is there a working agreement with the London County Council and any other ambulance authorities for the call and use of their ambulances; and can he make any statement on the subject and say if the present methods are quite satisfactory?


Where a person injured in a street accident requires removal to hospital the police summon one of the London County Council motor ambulances if the accident is within the county area, and if it is elsewhere, they summon whatever motor or horsed ambulance may be available for use in the locality. If there is no such ambulance readily available, as may happen in some of the outlying districts, the police make use of the nearest hand ambulance. The only ambulances provided by the police for street accident purposes are hand ambulances, maintained at police stations and a number of other points. With regard to the last part of the question, I would refer to the statement made yesterday by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health.


Do I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that these ambulances were not used for taking cases to the hospital?


Perhaps the hon. Member will refer to my answer.