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Letter: Dangers In Hospital

Sir: Last week the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee warned that hospitals were dangerous places for patients, staff and visitors because of the low level of compliance with health and safety legislation (report, 13 December).

For too long the NHS Executive has been in ignorance of this intolerable situation. The level of complacency over implementing the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act in hospitals is breathtaking.

It is scandalous that the NHS Executive is not accountable in law for the implementation of every aspect of health and safety legislation throughout the NHS. In view of the appalling situation exposed by the Public Accounts Committee, it is surely now time to identify a member of the NHS Executive who would become ultimately accountable for breaches of statute.

Dr Joseph L Kearns

Occupation Health Committee

British Medical Association

London WC1