HC Deb 13 February 1930 vol 235 cc601-2

asked the Minister of Health whether he has seen a Report of a meeting of the Headington Board of Guardians, in which it was stated that the receiving officer had admitted to the Headington workhouse a tramp who had just left the Oxford Guardians' hospital, where he had been a patient for a fortnight; that the relieving officer said he did so because the man was ill; that the medical officer supported the statement that the man was ill; that the chairman said that the responsibility rests on the Oxford people, who allowed this man to leave the hospital in an unfit condition; and will he inquire into the whole circumstances of the case from the above-mentioned relieving and medical officers and chairman and from the sick man himself.


I have not seen the Report referred to, but I have had full inquiries made into this case and into its handling by the officers of the Oxford Guardians. The facts are that every effort was made by the officers of the Oxford Guardians to persuade the man to remain in their institution; he insisted, however, on taking his discharge and signed a paper to the effect that he took full responsibility for his action. As my hon. Friend knows, Poor Law authorities have no power to detain inmates against their will, except under the provisions of the Lunacy or Mental Deficiency Acts, and I understand that neither of the two medical officers has been prepared to treat the case as coming under those Acts.


Is my right hon. Friend aware that there was a similar case to this in this particular casual ward before, and will he make inquiries to see that there is no whitewashing?


I resent the implication in the hon. Member's question.