asked the Minister of Health what steps he is taking to ensure that no chiropodist at present paid out of public funds is prevented by reason of not being registered, from continuing to work until sufficient registered chiropodists are available.
The Regulations which my right hon. Friend laid before the House on 29th June do not prevent chiropodists who are not qualified for registration from continuing in posts where they are properly employed.
Can my hon. Friend confirm that these Regulations will cover the case of the two ladies about whom I have written to him, who are working as chiropodists in Keighley and doing much valuable work?
Yes, Sir. I know my hon. Friend has been concerned about this. I can confirm that the new Regulations do not affect the employment of these two ladies. Therefore, their employment is in fact protected.
Is the Joint Parliamentary Secretary aware that some local authorities have been employing chiropodists who are neither registered nor qualified? Is it a fact that the new Regulations will at any rate make this practice no longer possible as to new entrants to the Service?
Yes; I understand that that is the position as regards new entrants to the Service. The new Regulations also make registration a requirement for employment in local authority welfare services and services provided by voluntary organisations as agents for local health and welfare authorities only for persons appointed after 29th June, 1964. In all other cases of existing employment the position is safeguarded.
Will the hon. Gentleman watch this matter very closely, because it is essential that a qualified person, or someone who thoroughly understands the job, should be responsible for dealing with people's feet, especially the feet of old people? So much depends upon the right treatment. There are all kinds of voluntary organisations employing people who have merely taken a postal course and are not qualified at all.
I entirely agree with the hon. Lady. The whole purpose of these Regulations is to ensure that proper standards are employed. My hon. Friend in raising this question was concerned with people who have been providing good service over a number of years to a local authority, and we were anxious in this particular case—I am sure that the House will feel that this is right—to ensure that their employment continued.