HC Deb 06 July 1964 vol 698 cc11-3W
69 and 70. Mr. A. Lewis

asked the Minister of Health (1) whether he will consider granting compensation to the widow of Mr. Walter Jarvis for the loss of her husband, in view of the failure of the authorities to provide a conveyance to return him from the London Chest Hospital to his home in Forest Gate, E.7, after having been an in-patient, having an oxygen tent, and being almost dead the evening before his discharge from hospital; and whether he will make a statement;

(2) whether he is aware that Mr. Walter Jarvis entered the London Chest Hospital for treatment on the morning of 6th April, 1964, that that afternoon the police advised his wife to phone the hospital, where she was told her husband had stopped breathing and was in an oxygen tent, and that, on visiting him later, although he had slightly recovered he was nearly dead and barely conscious; why, on the following afternoon, he was discharged and refused transport to take him from the hospital to his home in Forest Gate, E.7, whereby he was compelled to use two buses and a train to get home, resulting in his death the following morning; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Brains

No; I am aware of the circumstances of Mr. Jarvis' death, and I should like to express my sympathy with his widow in her loss. I understand that a post-mortem examination showed Mr. Jarvis to be suffering from a condition from which he might have died at any time and there is no evidence that his death was hastened by his hospital treatment or his journey home. He attended on 6th April for a bronchoscopy. This particular diagnostic procedure revealed no abnormality. As he needed assisted respiration after the examination, he was however kept in the hospital overnight. The following afternoon he was examined by two doctors who agreed that he was fully recovered from the effects of this examination and fit for discharge.

It is the responsibility of doctors in charge of patients to advise whether an ambulance is required and in this case they did not recommend one. I am enquiring further into the detailed arrangements at the hospital for ordering transport and will let the hon. Member know the outcome.