HC Deb 10 November 1970 vol 806 cc182-3
13. Mr. Pardoe

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what improvements have been made in the training of people likely to use anaesthetic machines as a result of a recent incident at Chase Farm Hospital, Enfield;

(2) if he will publish the further advice and warning which has been given to all those likely to operate anaesthetic machines in hospital as a result of an incident at Chase Farm Hospital, Enfield.

Sir K. Joseph

While nothing can totally eliminate all risk of human error, we have taken the tragedy at Enfield very seriously; special attention has been drawn to the existing advice on the use of anaesthetic equipment, and further advice will shortly be issued to hospitals.

Mr. Pardoe

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there have been too many similar incidents over the past few years? Is he also aware that there have been repeated warnings to his Department on the use of those machines? Will he publish the instructions so that the public can see that they are being obeyed?

Sir K. Joseph

In this case there was a faulty connection, which would not have been possible if modern equipment subject to British Standards had been used. We are trying to replace the old equipment as rapidly as possible. I take note of the hon. Gentleman's point.