Hospital Staffs (Trade Unions)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Health Service – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th November 1949.

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Photo of Captain Charles Smith Captain Charles Smith , Colchester 12:00 am, 24th November 1949

asked the Minister of Health whether he has considered the correspondence forwarded to him by the hon. Member for Colchester indicating the refusal of a hospital management committee to grant special leave without pay to a member of the staff to attend a training course for trade union officers; and whether, in view of the importance of building up a staff consultative machine in the hospital service, he will circularise all committees advising them to look sympathetically at such applications.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

Yes, Sir, and I am at present considering whether any more general advice to hospital management committees would be justified.

Photo of Mr Philip Piratin Mr Philip Piratin , Stepney Mile End

Can the Minister tell the House whether any guidance has been given to hospital boards in connection with facilitating trade union recruitment of the nurses and staffs?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

There is no need for me to give general guidance in this matter at all. All the arrangements for the recruiting of trade union membership are well known to the unions concerned.

Photo of Captain Charles Smith Captain Charles Smith , Colchester

As hospital managements apparently do not recognise the desirability of setting up consultative machinery, and the necessity for this to be done by suitable people, who should be given an opportunity of having proper training for it, does my right hon. Friend really not think that some kind of indication from him is desirable on that point?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

As I said in my first answer, I am proposing to make inquiries to find out whether some general guidance ought to be given.