Junior Hospital Doctors' Association

Oral Answers to Questions — Hospitals – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th February 1967.

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Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West 12:00 am, 6th February 1967

asked the Minister of Health what action he will now take to accord official recognition to the Junior Hospital Doctors' Association and to include it in official negotiations and consultations about the Hospital Service.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West

Does my right hon. Friend agree that junior hospital doctors carry a heavy burden within the Health Service, that at the moment they do not feel adequately represented, and that both for their morale and for the general working of the Health Service it might be wise to find some way of giving them a greater say in these negotiations?

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

It is for the profession to propose who should represent them in negotiations. I can assure my hon. Friend that in the negotiations that are currently taking place, covering all National Health Service doctors and dentists, the negotiating team of nine includes four junior doctors.

Photo of Dr David Owen Dr David Owen , Plymouth, Sutton

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that the junior hospital doctors feel that in the recent negotiations their case has not been put very effectively, particularly in respect of food charges, which have been raised for those who live in hospital and who will now have to pay a specific charge for each meal which they eat, as well as laundry charges, which are likely to work out at a greater cost than that which they previously had to pay as a lump sum?

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

This is a particular matter. I would not accept the conclusion which my hon. Friend drew. He knows that the new arrangements for board and lodging arise directly out of the seventh report of the independent Review Body.

Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Essex South East

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the best encouragement that he can give to junior hospital doctors is to undertake a radical review of the structure of staffing in hospitals? Will he say quite emphatically that the current negotiations will result in some proposals to that end?

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

I have already assured the hon. Member and the House that a review of the staffing structure forms an important part of the discussions which are currently under way.