HC Deb 22 July 1926 vol 198 cc1386-8

asked the Under-Secretary to the Scottish Board of Health whether he is aware that John Welsh, senior, valve-shaft camp, and John Welsh, junior, intake ii. camp at Balfour and Beattie's Contract, at Fort William, were both injured at work, one suffering from head injuries and the other suffering from a fracture of leg at ankle; that both these men were under treatment at the company's hospital at Fersit camp and were both ordered to leave the hospital on 5th July: that they were again ordered to leave on the following morning; that the company having refused the request of their panel doctor to accommodate the men he, the panel doctor, sent them to the Belford hospital, Fort William, that night; that these injured men were refused admittance to the hospital and had to lie out all night: and that all the, men on the contract have deductions taken from their wages for this hospital; and whether he can state upon whose orders they were ejected from the Fersit camp hospital, and who gave the instructions that they were to be refused admittance to the Belford hospital, Fort William?


As the answer is necessarily long, I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

There seems to be some confusion concerning these cases, John Welsh, aged 26, was injured as long ago as 14th April, remained for four weeks in bed at Fersit Camp Hospital and for two weeks on crutches. On 7th July, after being for 12 weeks under treatment he was seen by the compensation officer, who stated he was fit for light duty. He did not accept the position, and after a further six days' accommodation at Base Camp was sent by his panel doctor to the Belford Hospital, where, after examination by the medical superintendent, he was informed that the case was not one for hospital treatment and was accordingly not admitted.

The medical superintendent's report is that the original injury was not a fracture but a severe sprain, and that recovery would be assisted by light exercise.

The other case, of John Welsh, is that of a man who received a head injury on 31st May. There was no evidence of fracture, but simply of scalp injury. He was removed on 7th July to Base Camp as not being further in need of hospital treatment. He remained at Base Camp till 13th July without being asked to do any duty. He left to see his panel doctor, who in this case also sent him to the Belford Hospital. After examination by the superintendent he was not admitted, as not being in need of hospital treatment.

I understand that contribution to the Belford Hospital is on a voluntary basis and that some men pay and some do not, With regard to the last two parts of the question, I have not yet specifically ascertained on whose instructions these men were dismissed from Fersit Hospital. The refusal of admission to Belford Hospital was given as part of his duty by the medical superintendent of the hospital.