asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that in many hospitals within the Emergency Medical Service the data relative to the previous investigations concerning a patient are not made available to the hospital medical staffs, so that when a patient has had a radiological examination or a fractional test meal no information is at hand and the work has to be undertaken anew; whether he will take steps to avoid this unnecessary duplication and ensure at least that Form AFB 178 is available for every service case?
The instructions issued to E.M.S. Hospitals provide for the assembling in one envelope (M.P.C. 47) of all documents, including case sheets and X-ray films, relating to the treatment of casualties or Service sick. This envelope is retained by the hospital as long as the patient is under treatment, is transferred with him if he is transferred to another hospital, and is, on his recovery, passed to the Ministry of Pensions for safe custody. That Ministry will on written or telegraphic request produce extracts from the previous medical history to any hospital to which the case may go for further treatment at a later date. Particulars of previous investigations of the kind referred to in the Question should therefore be available if the patient has previously been treated under the Emergency Hospital Scheme. In military cases A.F.B. 178 is not sent to E.M.S. Hospitals, but an adequate record is made on A.F.I. 1220 and photostatic copies of this form can be obtained from the War Office by any hospital on written or telegraphic request.