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Lord McColl of Dulwich

Lord McColl of Dulwich


Lord McColl is a British surgeon, professor, politician and Conservative member of the House of Lords. Lord McColl was made a Life Peer for his work for disabled people in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1989. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Prime Minister John Major from 1994-97. Lord McColl is also a trustee of the charity Mercy Ships and has been become an advocate against human trafficking.

Lord McColl is a former president of Mildmay and during a debate in the House of Lords on the HIV/AIDS epidemic on Tuesday 5 February 1991, he said, "my involvement in this subject is as president of the Mildmay Mission hospital, which was a NHS hospital serving the people of Hackney until it was closed in 1982, being surplus to requirements. The hospital was allowed to reopen three years later as an early version of the self-governing hospital. Thereafter we had much closer co-operation with health authorities. In 1988 within the hospital we opened a hospice for those dying of AIDS. It turned out to be the first of its kind in Europe.

Mildmay deaconesses first cared for people dying of cholera in 1866. The hospital today is particularly well suited to that kind of work—treating people with AIDS who are considered by some to be like the lepers of old. Many have been thrown out of their homes, sacked from their jobs and even rejected by their friends. There have been many distinguished visitors to the hospital; they have been deeply moved by the plight of the people there. They have also been impressed by the dedicated and superb care that is given. The attitude of most distinguished visitors is noticeably changed when they meet people who are living with AIDS.

The hospital provides continuing and terminal care for those with advanced disease. Many patients are admitted apparently dying. But when their infections are treated and the symptoms controlled they recover and leave the hospital, although often returning later having suffered a relapse. So the establishment differs from the usual type of hospice where active treatment would not normally be appropriate.

Respite care is another important aspect of the work. The aim is to have as many as possible of the patients nursed at home. A smaller percentage may need rehabilitation after suffering the effects of a stroke as a complication of the disease. Such patients respond very well to intensive rehabilitation treatment.

Education is another important activity of the hospital. It trains other National Health Service personnel and people from abroad in how to deal with AIDS patients who are being cared for at home as well as those in hospital. There is an ever increasing number of mothers who have AIDS and of children with AIDS. The hospital tries to cater for that need but facilities will need to be improved. It has been reckoned in New York that within a few years it will have 78,000 children with AIDS. The mothers are reluctant to come into hospital and leave behind their children as the children would have to go into care.

We are very grateful to the many people from all parts of the country who have loyally supported the hospital. We are particularly grateful to the Member Toggle showing location ofColumn 1138of Parliament, Mr. Peter Shore, who has been an absolute tower of strength throughout the years with all the help that he has given. We also thank the regional health authority and the Department of Health which, as usual, are being constructive and practical in helping to make the hospital the success that it is. But very much more remains to be done."

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