Nurses

Oral Answers to Questions — Hospitals – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th July 1964.

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Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington 12:00 am, 6th July 1964

asked the Minister of Health what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government concerning the establishment of a grade of senior enrolled nurse.

Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Essex South East

My right hon. Friend is taking steps to establish this new grade which we regard as an important advance. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is taking similar action in Scotland.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that when the Minister made the announcement to the State-enrolled nurses on 21st April many of them expected action in the near future? Could the hon. Gentleman give some indication of when this grade will be created? Could he also say what will be the qualifications for entry into the senior grade?

Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Essex South East

I cannot give a date at the moment. Before a date can be announced, advice has to be sent to hospital authorities. A memorandum is being sent shortly asking them to revise establishments with the object of designating suitable posts in wards and departments. I can understand the impatience of the hon. Gentleman to get things moving, but I am sure there will be a general welcome to this further recognition of the place of enrolled nurses in the hospital service and the new opportunity for promotion which it will give.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

Can the hon. Gentle-man answer my question about the qualifications for the senior grade?

Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Essex South East

I should like notice of that question.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

asked the Minister of Health how many hospitals have so far applied the 42-hour week to all nursing staff.

Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Essex South East

My right hon. Friend has asked for progress reports at six-monthly intervals. The first will be available in November.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

Can the hon. Gentleman give no indication at all at the moment of whether the target date for the 84-hour fortnight will be met by 1st January, 1966?

Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Essex South East

We have asked hospital authorities to complete by 1st January, 1966, the implementation of the reduction in working hours. We hope that they will achieve this, or will make every effort to do so. I cannot give any more information on that point at the moment.

Photo of Mr Frank Allaun Mr Frank Allaun , Salford East

Would the hon. Gentleman see that in the current negotiations the 72,000 nurses in training receive a fair deal in their wages this time? Is he aware that many of them are receiving only £2 15s. a week after they have paid for their board? Will he also bear in mind that they will not be satisfied with the 3½ per cent. recently awarded to the clerical staff in accordance with the Government's guiding light, because that would mean only 4s. a week extra for them?

Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Essex South East

I always bear in mind anything that the hon. Gentleman puts to me. Of course, this is a matter for the Whitley Council, and I have no doubt that the consideration which he has been advancing will be advanced by the appropriate side.