HC Deb 06 February 1945 vol 407 cc1887-8
44. Sir G. Jeffreys

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that wounded officers and other ranks on sick-leave are ordered to attend before Medical Boards at the hospital in which they were treated on their first return to this country, regardless of the distance from their homes or places of residence; and whether he will arrange, in future, for such officers and men to attend both for any necessary treatment and for Medical Boards at the nearest suitable hospital to the address at which they are residing whilst on sick-leave.

Sir J. Grigg

Whenever possible Medical Boards on wounded officers and other ranks returning to this country are held before they are sent on leave, whether this is disembarkation leave, normal privilege leave, or, in the case of officers, sick-leave. If at any time, owing to the numbers involved, this it not possible, the rule is that the patient should have his Medical Board at the hospital to which he is assigned for treatment. This should be as near to his home as possible, except in cases where he requires special treat- ment and must be sent to a hospital with the appropriate facilities. I am, however, aware that in a few cases this procedure has not been properly carried out, and that some men have been returned unnecessarily to the hospital where they were first treated on return to this country. Steps to prevent this are being taken.

Sir G. Jeffreys

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it was a real hardship on persons, especially invalids, to have to travel long distances and stay awake at nights on journeys of this kind in the recent balmy weather? Is the organisation being perfected?

Sir J. Grigg

That, I think, is the general sense of what I said. I also said that there have come to my notice cases in which those rules have not been properly carried out, and that I was taking steps to see that this did not happen.