Nurses (Midwifery Training)

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 Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton 12:00 am, 7th February 1966

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that a state registered nurse who decides to train in midwifery under the present regulations suffers a reduction in salary and allowances; and whether he will refer this anomaly to the Nurses and Midwives Whitley Council.

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

The Council has already made an agreement by which hospital authorities may second qualified nurses who are willing to train and subsequently to work as midwives. In these circumstances remuneration is not reduced.

Photo of Mr Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton

If a nurse volunteers to do a course of training to improve her qualifications, surely it is wrong for her to be penalised?

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

I think that there is some misunderstanding about this. This is not a higher qualification, it is a different one, and many nurses take this qualification while not intending to practise midwifery at all. In these circumstances, I do not think it is appropriate that she should go on being paid as a working nurse while she is a student.

Photo of Hon. Richard Wood Hon. Richard Wood , Bridlington

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that this distinction which he has made of a different qualification is very great? She is trying to qualify herself more for work which she may be doing. Will the right hon. Gentleman reconsider what my right hon. Friend said?

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

The point is that where she is willing to do midwifery the hospital can arrange for her to be seconded without loss of pay. I assure the right hon. Gentleman that this matter has been raised with innumerable Ministers of Health since I have been in the House.

Photo of Miss Irene Ward Miss Irene Ward , Tynemouth

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the important thing in life today is for people to get the maximum number of qualifications which they possibly can? Why make this distinction? It is perfectly idiotic.

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

I could not accept that, because if the nurse in question is not intending to make use of this additional qualification—

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

—she is lost to active nursing for the duration of the course.