HC Deb 27 February 1956 vol 549 cc820-1
26. Mrs. Braddock

asked the Minister of Health what arrangements are made in mental and mental deficiency hospitals, in view of the shortage of staff especially on night duty, to ensure that all emergency danger warning bells and telephones are, at all times, in working order.

Mr. Turton

It is the duty of hospitals to test this equipment regularly. If the hon. Member is aware of defects at any particular hospital I should be very grateful if she would let me know at once.

Mrs. Braddock

In view of the very serious case in which a nurse, on her own on night duty, was attacked by a patient, and who endeavoured to get to the telephone and the alarm bell, but, when she managed to get to them found both were not working, will the right hon. Gentleman please see that some instruction is given both to mental hospitals and mental deficiency hospitals that there must be a regular check of emergency alarm and telephone communications in order to safeguard staff, of which we are very short in these hospitals?

Mr. Turton

Most hospital authorities have already appointed engineers responsible for the satisfactory operation and maintenance of engineering services, both mechanical and electrical, but I will look further into this question. I am sending out a circular referring to fire precautions and it may be that I can put something into it on the lines suggested by the hon. Lady.

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