Mr. David Adams:
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the General Nursing Council, acting under the Nurses Registration Act, 1919, has refused to excuse women of friendly alien origin, being trained nurses, who wish to become State-registered nurses in England, any portion of their training, and has insisted that they must complete the whole course of training including the preliminary examination; and whether, in view of the serious shortage of trained nurses in Emergency Medical Service Hospitals, he will ensure some temporary modification during war-time of the Act of 1919?
I am aware that no provision is made in the Nurses Registration Act for the exemption of nurses trained in foreign countries from any part of the training needed for State registration in this country. Such nurses can be employed as assistant nurses. The answer to the second part of the Question is "No."
Is the hon. Lady aware that medical men and women of friendly alien origin are being eagerly employed in our hospitals as doctors and surgeons, and does she not consider that it is a waste of excellent woman-power to insist that those fully qualified and well-experienced nurses shall begin as juniors in our hospitals, a position which they will not accept?
The hon. Gentleman perhaps has not realised that we are not suggesting they should begin as probationers or student nurses, but that the rank of assistant nurse is more suitable for those who have not undergone the full course and taken State registration?
It is not the fact of being aliens but the training they have had, and whether they should be classed as assistant nurses or student nurses or fully trained State registered nurses.