HC Deb 31 May 1897 vol 49 cc1628-9

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he can state the grounds on which the Local Government Board have annulled the appointment of Miss Walker as night nurse in Granard Union, and whether ladies with similar qualifications have been sanctioned in the neighbouring unions of Longford, and also in unions in the north of Ireland?


Miss Walker, aged 22 years, and without previous experience in nursing, was elected by the Guardians at a salary of £10 a year. The Local Government Board have now informed the Guardians that they cannot sanction her appointment until they receive a report from the Workhouse Medical Officer stating that, in his opinion, she is qualified to discharge the duties of night nurse. The Board have added that if the Guardians persist in their refusal to secure the services of a trained nurse, the Medical Officer may requisition such additional nursing assistance as he may require. The night nursing in Longford Workhouse is in charge of the Sisters of Mercy who are nurses in the Workhouse, the duty being undertaken in rotation by these Sisters. The Board have repeatedly addressed Boards of Guardians relative to the necessity of appointing only trained and experienced persons to take charge of the Workhouse Infirmaries and Fever Hospitals, and whenever vacancies occur the Local Government Board urge upon the Guardians the desirability of offering such salaries as will induce qualified applicants to present themselves as candidates for the Office of Nurse.