HC Deb 18 July 1969 vol 787 cc223-4W
Dame Joan Vickers

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, in view of the fact that the bacterium E coli 0.114 was discovered in the premature unit and children's ward at Freedom Fields Hospital, Plymouth, what action is proposed to prevent another outbreak; and whether other hospitals have been warned of the possible dangers of outbreaks of this type.

Mr. Crossman

Bacteriological tests taken at the beginning of July showed the presence of E. coli 0.114, which is one of the organisms associated with infant gastro-enteritis, in three children at the Tavistock Maternity Hospital and in three at Freedom Fields Hospital, Plymouth. None of these babies has shown symptoms of gastro-enteritis.

The premature baby unit and a ward at Freedom Fields Hospital were closed for disinfection and have now been reopened. The Tavistock Maternity Hospital, which was also closed to new admissions, is expected to reopen shortly.

The hospital authority has informed other hospitals and the local health authorities. I am satisfied that hospital authorities, particularly following the wide distribution last month of the report of the Manchester Regional Hospital Board on gastro-enteritis in Manchester, are well aware of the possible dangers of the disease.

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