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Poor Law Officers (Information)

Volume 155: debated on Tuesday 13 June 1922

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asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to an inquest at Shoreditch where it was stated that a man was unable to obtain the address of the Poor Law doctor, or the services of any doctor, for a relative until the latter was dead; whether he observed that the Local Government Board and Ministry of Health have stated that, in a large number of cases in the lists of those who were found by coroner's inquest to have died of starvation or privation, no application for medical or other relief had been made to the Poor Law officers; and whether he will give instructions that the police should be made acquainted with the names and addresses of the relieving officers and Poor Law medical officers of their district, and should be instructed to give information to inquirers as to the relieving officers and, in cases of extreme urgency, as to the medical officers?

All Metropolitan police officers on duty are provided with pocket directories which contain the names and addresses of the relieving officers, the Poor Law medical officers, and the doctors of their district; and if appealed to, they invariably give the required information. In the case in question no application appears to have been made to the police for medical aid. If this had been done, the necessary information and assistance would have readily been given.