Nurses (Overtime)

Oral Answers to Questions — Hospitals – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th February 1966.

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Photo of Mr Kenneth Lewis Mr Kenneth Lewis , Rutland and Stamford 12:00 am, 7th February 1966

asked the Minister of Health what would be the estimated cost of making overtime payments to state registered nurses employed in the hospital service.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

The cost would depend on the circumstances.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lewis Mr Kenneth Lewis , Rutland and Stamford

The Minister of Health is obviously not doing very well this afternoon in trying to provide figures.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lewis Mr Kenneth Lewis , Rutland and Stamford

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman, in view of the discussions which have taken place on this matter, whether he discussed it with the professional organisations concerned? Will he bear in mind that a lot of part-timers are paid on an hourly basis, which is having an effect on permanent nursing staff, who feel they are being penalised?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

We always try to give intelligent answers to intelligent questions. The fact is that a very large number of factors are involved, all of which are variable, in trying to reach an estimate—the circumstances in which overtime rates are payable, the rates for overtime, the grades in which it is payable, the policy adopted by individual hospitals. In reply to the second part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, no claim for overtime payment has yet been received from either side of the Nurses and Midwives Whitley Council.

Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West

Can my right hon. Friend say at this juncture whether he accepts the principle of overtime payments and whether he is keeping his mind very much open on the point?

Photo of Miss Irene Ward Miss Irene Ward , Tynemouth

As his mind is always open, will the right hon. Gentleman initiate discussions with the professional organisations representing nurses and midwives? Would he not agree that that would be very helpful to us in that we should then know in what direction we are going?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

If a claim is officially submitted we can then consider the best course of action to take.