§ Dr. Mawhinney
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, further to his answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough on 27 May, Official Report, c. 1067, on the position of patients prevented from receiving treatment, he will now make available the result of his inquiries.
§ Mr. Fowler
[pursuant to his reply, 26 July 1982, c. 386]: I have now written to my hon. Friend. As I indicated in the House, I would deplore any attempt by non-medically qualified staff to make clinical judgments which 488W could cause serious harm or danger to the patients concerned—for example, by deciding that a patient's condition did not require urgent treatment and thus preventing him from entering hospital.
Pickets, whether or not medically qualified, have no right to prevent any person (whether patient or fellow worker), from entering a hospital or any other building. They may not go beyond the use of persuasion, and if they exceed that they may incur legal liability, both civil and criminal, for their action. A patient who has an appointment at a particular hospital or who presents himself for treatment at an accident or emergency department has a right to enter that hospital for treatment.