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Sanatorium, Bournemouth(Miss E Anderton)

Volume 161: debated on Wednesday 14 March 1923

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asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the case of Miss Ethel Anderton, of 63, Temple Street, West Bromwich, who received treatment at the Lodge Road dispensary, West Bromwich, for nearly two years, and who was sent on 2nd October, 1922, to the Royal National Sanatorium, Bourne-mouth, where she received treatment for about 12 weeks; whether he has received a complaint that the patient was sent home at the end of this period in an unfit state without a suitable attendant, and that, the journey having been too trying for her, she was taken ill and died three weeks later; if he has investigated the ease and with what result; and whether the railway fare to and from the sanatorium, paid by Miss Anderton's sister, will be refunded to her in view of Miss Anderton having received sanatorium treatment as an insured person under the Health Insurance Acts?

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. A complaint was received that this patient had been sent back to her home from the sanatorium when she was not in a fit condition to travel. My Department communicated with the West Bromwich Town Council in regard to the case, and received a copy of the correspondence which passed between the medical superintendent of the sanatorium and the tuberculosis officer for West Bromwich. The correspondence showed that the medical superintendent asked that the tuberculosis officer would arrange for the removal of the patient as she was making very poor Progress and that the medical superintendent saw no reason why she should not undertake the journey. The tuberculosis officer accordingly agreed that the patient should return to her home in West Bromwich. As regards the last part of the question, I have no authority to direct that the railway fares should be refunded, but I may point out that sanatorium benefit terminated in l921, and this patient was afforded sanatorium treatment by the town council under their scheme for the treatment of tuberculosis which is available for both insured and uninsured persons.