HC Deb 27 March 1941 vol 370 cc692-3
31. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the increasing serious shortage of male and female nurses in mental hospitals owing to their voluntary or compulsory transference to military service or war work; and whether, in view of the urgent necessity of retaining a reasonable number of these trained men and women, he will confer with the Minister of Labour with a view to preventing excessive withdrawal from mental hospital service?

Mr. E. Brown

I am aware that difficulties are in some cases being experienced in relation to this as well as to other services administered by local authorities. The matter is being kept under review in consultation with the Ministry of Labour and National Service, and we are in touch with the local authorities on this important issue.

Mr. Sorensen

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in some hospitals more than a quarter of the staff have now gone, and as this is a particularly arduous service, will he not still further confer with the Minister of Labour with a view to trying to stop the outflow of male and female employés?

Mr. Brown

We are doing that. I know that in some districts this is a major problem for us.