HC Deb 20 November 1947 vol 444 cc1333-4
52. Mr. Channon

asked the Minister of Labour whether in view of the shortage of hospital accommodation in this country, he will do everything possible to assist private registered nursing and maternity homes to obtain nursing and domestic staff.

Mr. Isaacs

Yes, Sir, but I should point out that in October last my Department had particulars of over 32,000 vacancies for nurses and over 6,500 vacancies for domestics, most of which were in hospitals.

Mr. Hastings

Does the Minister realise that nursing and domestic staff are much more economically used in a large institution like a hospital than in a series of small nursing homes?

Mr. Isaacs

Yes, Sir. That is why we are at the moment concentrating on getting all the available staff we can into institutions

Mr. House

Is the Minister aware that if our health services were based on natural methods for the prevention and cure of disease instead of on the administration of poisonous medicines drugs and injections our present hospital accommodation would already be 10 times greater than is necessary?

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

How does the Minister reconcile the reply he has just given indicating his preference for the larger hospitals with the assurance in his first reply that he is doing everything possible to assist private registered nursing and maternity homes?

Mr. Isaacs

That is easily reconciled. Under the operations of the Ministry of Labour, which have been somewhat criticised during the last 24 hours, we are endeavouring to get people into the most suitable employment, and, therefore, if there should be an opportunity for a private institution to take somebody in a locality where there is no vacancy in a national institution, we shall endeavour to get people in there.