HC Deb 15 July 1964 vol 698 cc266-7W
Mr. A. Lewis

asked the Minister of Health if he will publish in HANSARD the letter dated 29th June, 1964, sent to the hon. Member for West Ham, North, by his Parliamentary Secretary concerning the case of the late Walter Jarvis of Forest Gate.

Mr. Braine

Following is the text of the letterYou wrote to Tony Barber on 25th May enclosing a letter from Mrs. R. Jarvis of 18, Norfolk Street, Forest Gate, E.7, about the circumstances of her husband's death. I have every sympathy for Mrs. Jarvis in her sad loss and fully understand her desire for an explanation. I understand that Mr. Jarvis was admitted to the London Chest Hospital for a bronchoscopy on 6th April. The bronchoscopy was performed and revealed no abnormality but afterwards Mr. Jarvis required assisted respiration and he was therefore detained in hospital overnight. I am informed that he was examined the following day by two doctors who agreed that he was fit to be discharged. Mr. Jarvis was able to walk and it was not thought necessary to order an ambulance. Mrs. Jarvis apparently tried to telephone a taxi rank, but getting no reply decided to take her husband home by public transport. The report of the post-mortem examination (which I have seen) confirms that his general physical condition was sufficient in itself to account for death. The late Mr. Jarvis suffered from chronic bronchitis and coronary disease: he might have died at any time and there is no evidence at all to suggest that death was hastened as a result of his hospital treatment or his difficult journey home on discharge from hospital. On the other hand, I can well understand the distress that must have been caused to Mrs. Jarvis, and although the hospital acted in accordance with their assessment of Mr. Jarvis' medical condition at the time, I think that in all the circumstances it would have been better if transport had been provided. I return your constituent's letter and enclosures.