HC Deb 19 December 1960 vol 632 cc860-1
7 and 8. Mr. Gardner

asked the Minister of Health (1) what action has been taken in the case of the doctor responsible for prescribing an overdose of xylocaine, equivalent to almost three times the normal dose for a child of four years of age, to Christopher Disley, who died in St. Andrew's Hospital, Billericay, as a result of the overdose given to relieve the pain of a fractured wrist;

(2) what instructions for use were given by the manufacturers of the drug, xylocaine, from an overdose of which Christopher Disley died in St. Andrew's Hospital, Billericay, on 25th August.

Mr. Powell

A claim against the doctor by the father has been made and settled. The doctor had already resigned before the accident and his resignation took effect shortly after. As a result of the accident, fresh guidance on local analgesics by the Group Medical Advisory Committee has been brought to the notice of all medical staff in the Group. I am sending my hon. Friend copies of the manufacturers' instructions.

Mr. Gardner

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that Answer, may I ask whether he can say whether the doctor who made this elementary and fatal mistake will be given refresher training in the safe use of drugs like xylocaine before he is allowed to prescribe them again? Can my right hon. Friend say whether any hospital to which this doctor may be appointed will be given notice of his present inexperience?

Mr. Powell

I have not got the information that my hon. Friend asks for, but it is the duty of boards and committees to acquaint themselves with the qualifications and record of anyone whom they consider appointing.

Mr. K. Robinson

Does not the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that it is extremely difficult for boards and committees to acquaint themselves with the record of people they are appointing and that matters of this kind are very seldom referred to in references from previous employers?

Mr. Powell

But it is the duty of these authorities to assure themselves that the references they obtain are adequate to ensure that they are aware of the qualifications and the records of the people they are appointing.

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