§ 61 and 62. Mr. WILLIAM THORNE
asked the President of the Local Government Board (1) if the nurses at the West Ham union's infirmary are being overworked through the overcrowding of the infirmary; if he is aware that the nurses are working twelve and fourteen hours per day, seven days per week; if he is aware that at times there have been as many as nineteen nurses on the sick list at one time; and if he intends taking any action in the matter; (2) if the West Ham Board of Guardians have applied to the Local Government Board to engage an additional nursing staff at their infirmary in consequence of the long hours worked by the nurses, so that they can give the nurses one day's rest in seven; and if he will explain why the Local Government Board have refused the application?
§ The PRESIDENT of the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. Burns)
I am aware that there has been some overcrowding in the infirmary referred to pending the provision of additional accommodation at Forest Gate. The institution there is now open and the number of inmates at the infirmary will, I hope, shortly be reduced to the normal number. As regards the hours worked by the nurses and the number on the sick list at one time, the information before me does not entirely accord with the figures given by the hon. Member, but I may say that I gave careful consideration to the application of the guardians for an increase in the nursing staff, and I assented to the appointment of six additional nurses. Having regard, however, to the duties performed and the circumstances and conditions under which those duties are discharged, I did not feel justified in assenting to the full proposals of the guardians.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he thinks that the appointment of additional nurses would enable the guardians to allow the nurses one day's rest in seven?
§ Mr. W. THORNE
If the board of guardians make another application, will the right hon. Gentleman favourably consider it, so that the nurses may have one day's rest in seven?