HC Deb 14 March 1946 vol 420 cc1267-9
28. Mr. Driberg

asked the Minister of Health if he will circulate in the Official Report a summary of his Department's report on conditions at the children's home administered by the Public Assistance Committee of the Essex County Council at Stanway; how many children in this home were affected by the recent epidemic of ringworm; how long this epidemic lasted; and if he is satisfied that conditions in the home have now been substantially improved.

30. Captain C. Smith

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the recent report by an inspector of his Department on the children's home at Stanway, Essex; how long this home has been administered by the Essex County Council; whether he is satisfied that adequate steps are being taken to implement the recommendations of the report and improve the unsatisfactory conditions at this home; and whether he will circulate in the Official Report a list of the other children's homes maintained by this authority, with a note of the date when they were last visited by an inspector of his Department.

The Minister of Health (Mr. Aneurin Bevan)

I have received a report from my inspector on the Children's Homes at Stanway. One of my senior inspectors has discussed it with officers of the county council, and is keeping the matter under review. The homes have been administered by the county council since 1st April, 1930. I believe that the council are actively and favourably considering the recommendations in the report. I am circulating in the Official Report further information on the matters raised by my hon. Friends, including information about the outbreak of ringworm.

Mr. Hastings

Is this the first adverse report received from this Home?

Mr. Bevan

I am not aware of any other report, but I will make inquiries.

Following is the information:


  1. I. Summary of matters arising from the inspection of the homes at Stanway
    1. 1.Ringworm —An outbreak of ringworm began in March, 1945. There have been 25 cases, of which 12 were still infected at the time of the inspection and were being kept separate. (The number of cases has since been reduced to 9.)
    2. 2.Staff — The staff was short of its complement by one assistant foster mother, and consideration is to be given to the filling of the vacancy.
    3. 3.Premises, furniture, etc. — The premises were found to be dreary, and to need re- decoration in brighter colours; bathrooms are cold and draughty; some linoleum requires reneals; w.cs. require lime washing; and there are no small tables or. chairs for the younger children
    4. 4.Miscellaneous. — The Inspector recorded her detailed findings on a number of other matters including medical attention, education, recreations, clothing. dietary, sweets and 1269 pocket money. In most of these matters, however, there was no serious criticism of what was found.
  2. II. Other Children's Homes in Essex The other children's homes maintained by the Essex County Council and the dates when they were last visited by an Inspector of my Department are:

Tendring—22nd March, 1944.

Bocking—23rd January, 1946.

Dunmow—28th June, 1945.

Epping—25th January. 1946.

Romford—2nd May, 1944.

Writtle—3rd July, 1945.

Billericay—24th August, 1945.

Maldon—25th May, 1945.

Harold Wood—2nd May, 1944.