HC Deb 21 August 1894 vol 29 cc155-6

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that a trained nurse was dismissed from the Bedford Workhouse Infirmary on 21st July, on the alleged ground that she belonged to the Workhouse Infirmary Nursing Association, and that the Local Government Board wrote to the said Association in April, 1889, stating that in future they would be prepared to sanction without further inquiry the appointments of nurses who are recommended by the Workhouse Infirmary Nursing Association; whether the Local Government Board Inspector, Mr. W. Augustus Peel, was present at the meeting of the Bedford Guardians on 4th August, and remarked that the said Association was "like any other Registry Office. One might find a good servant or a bad one"; and whether he will do his best to prevent the discouragement of an Association which the Board have recognised as an efficient agent in the work of nursing the sick poor?


I have communicated with the Guardians of the Bedford Union, and am informed by them that the nurse referred to had expressed a distaste for some of her duties, and had informed the Visiting Committee that she would be primarily the servant of the Workhouse Infirmary Nursing Association, whose orders she would be bound to obey under penalties in preference to any orders of the Guardians, and that the Guardians under these circumstances deemed it undesirable to apply to the Local Government Board for sanction to her appointment. It is the case that the Board have intimated that they will not deem it necessary to make inquiries with regard to nurses recommended by the Association prior to sanctioning their appointments. I am informed by Mr. Peel that if it is suggested that he has discouraged applications to the Association, this is not the case. He informed the hon. Secretary of the Association in 1890 that he would be happy to bring the Association under the notice of Boards of Guardians in his district, and he has done this on numerous occasions, with the result that the Guardians have appointed nurses recommended by the Association. The Local Government Board fully realise the assistance which has been rendered by the Association in connection with the provision of nurses for sick poor in workhouses.