HC Deb 16 June 1925 vol 185 cc291-2
74. Colonel DAY

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to a recent case at the Billericay Isolation Hospital, Essex, where a patient named Joseph Drage died as a result of the administration of an over-dose of strychnine by a temporary un-qualified nurse; and will he take such action as will allow of only fully qualified nurses being allowed to administer poisonous medicines to patients undergoing hospital or institutional treatment?


My right hon. Friend's attention has been called to this most regrettable occurrence, and he has communicated with the Billericay Rural District Council to whom the hospital belongs. He has no control over the internal administration of isolation hospitals, but he is informed that the district council are taking all possible steps to prevent the recurrence of such an accident.

Colonel DAY

Will the hon. Gentleman consider the issuing of instructions to these hospitals that where a poisonous medicine has to be administered by unqualified persons it should only be served out in a phial of one dose at a time?


No, Sir; it would be useless for such instructions to be issued by my Department, because we have no control whatever over the administration of these hospitals I am glad to say, however, that these cases are very occasional, and I believe that in this case the council has taken such steps as will, at any rate, prevent the repetition of this unfortunate occurrence.