HC Deb 11 February 1976 vol 905 cc228-9W
Mr. Cyril Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if she will issue a circular to all regional and area health authorities to implement recommendations 1 to 3 of the report of the tribunal of inquiry into the death of Andrew Philip Brown, and endorsed by the North-West Regional Health Authority;

(2) if she has received a copy of the report of the tribunal of inquiry into the death of Andrew Philip Brown at Rochdale Infirmary on 10th November 1974; and if she will make a statement on her policy towards its conclusion.

Dr. Owen

I have read this disturbing report with grave concern. The recommendations reflect generally accepted policies and practices which have been recommended to health authorities by my Department. The North-Western Regional Health Authority, to whom the recommendations are addressed, has already made public its comments on them and the action it proposes to take.

Circular HM71 (22), a copy of which have placed in the Library, and which was issued to health authorities in 1971, recommended that children in hospital are best cared for in a children's department which is under the general oversight of a consultant paediatrician, individual responsibility for specific kinds of treatment resting with the consultants in the specialties concerned; and that they should be nursed by those with the requisite training and experience in the techniques of nursing sick children. The circular stresses the importance of parental contact with the children: and it recommends that other consultants, e.g., the pathologist, radiologist and especially the anaesthetist, whose work lies with children, need special experience and training especially in the handling of children. We will be asking AHAs to review their services for children in the light of the previous guidance. We are also considering whether any further guidance or action is necessary.