Published: 27/05/2004, Volume II4, No. 5907 Page

Looking back at the week's top stories - as reported by HSJ and its predecessor titles

From the Poor Law Officers' Journal, 27 May 1904

Questions to a Barrister in Law... Q: An infectious disease is raging in a Poor Law institution and is contracted by an officer. The Medical Officer, who is not medical attendant to the staff, attends daily. Should he attend the officer free of charge and are the Guardians bound to pay the charges as the disease was contracted by the officer in the process of her duty?

A: Unless the Guardians made a special stipulation with the Medical Officer on his appointment that he should attend the staff, it is not part of his duty to do so. In these circumstances, it is reasonable and usual for officers to pay his medical attendance through a gratuity.

From the Hospital and Social Service Journal, 28 May 1954

A report says of Birmingham General Hospital that its patients may now ask for details of their operations, their medicine and their progress, the answers being supplied by clinicians on their rounds. The scheme was started by a consultant physician 'to break the barrier of secrecy and silence between doctors and patients'. Turning from hospital to general practice, it is in the latter field where the patient is nearer to being seen as a person, but, for the great part, very much fleeting glimpses.

From The Health Service Journal, 26 May 1994

Hospitals could be ranked in league tables showing the cost and quality of the food they serve.

NHS chief executive Alan Langlands revealed the plans this week after MPs criticised poor standards in NHS catering.

Commons public accounts committee chair Robert Sheldon said it was clear that the standard of cooking in some places was 'atrocious' and that there were astonishing variations in cost.