HC Deb 14 July 1942 vol 381 cc1085-7
71 and 72. Mr. David Adams

asked the Minister of Health (1) whether he is aware of the cumbersome character of the administration of the Emergency Hospital Scheme necessitating a multiplicity of forms and returns; that Form E.M.S. 105 is required to be made out in quadruplicate whenever a patient is admitted, transferred or discharged; that one copy is retained by the regional hospital officer in respect of each movement, forms being required both from the transferring and receiving hospitals, necessitating the receipt and storage of thousands of forms weekly in the regional offices; and, as the depleted senior medical staffs have not time to devote to the clerical supervision required, he will cause a review of these operations; and

(2) whether he is aware that the Ministry have recently instituted a complicated record form for the medical notes of patients admitted to chest centres; that forms must be completed in triplicate and typed separately; that a recent draft weekly return for war-time day nurseries had to be submited in triplicate asking for information under 27 different heads; and whether he will take steps to cut down the size and number of these forms?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Miss Horsbrugh)

It is the constant effort of the Emergency Hospital Scheme to restrict its forms and returns to the minimum necessary for conducting so considerable a service effectively, and for meeting Service requirements, keeping relatives informed and ensuring proper treatment of patients. The form E.M.S. 105 is a simple form used, with carbon copies, for Service and Police cases and civilian casualties. It is the main means of recording the admission and movement of such patients, of informing relatives had Service authorities and of enabling proper allocation to special treatment to be followed up. The form for certain chest cases referred, to applies only to a small number of specialist cases, enables the medical case notes to be kept on more uniform lines and so helps in continuity of treatment when patients are moved, as well as enabling specialist treatment methods to be observed and improved. I am making inquiries from the Regional Offices about the return for war-time nurseries to which my hon. Friend refers, since no such return is required centrally.

Mr. Adams

Is the Minister aware that in the judgment of medical officers of health who are handling the Emergency Medical Service, this is a fair illustration of bureaucracy run wild, and that in their judgment it could be cut down by some 75 per cent. and yet have the same efficiency?

Mr. Lawson

My hon. Friend has said that this is a simple form; will she have a copy placed in the Library so that hon. Members could see such a unique object?

Miss Horsbrugh

I will certainly ask my right hon. Friend about that.