HC Deb 16 March 1948 vol 448 cc1852-3
3. Mrs. Wills

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he is taking to recruit new entrants to the nursing staffs of the hospitals in Birmingham, as many wards will have to close unless new staff is quickly obtained.

Mr. Isaacs

I am doing everything possible to assist hospitals throughout the country, as well as in Birmingham, to obtain the nurses they need. In particular, special conferences of hospital matrons have recently been held in Birmingham to encourage the greater use of part-time nurses who can be a valuable reinforcement to their local hospitals.

Mrs. Wills

Will the Minister treat this as a matter of urgency, because at the present time there is a long list of patients waiting to go into Birmingham Infirmary, who are urgently in need of treatment and who cannot be taken in because of shortage of staff? I understand that there are likely to be even more wards closed in the near future.

Mr. Isaacs

We are aware of the great need, and an active campaign is being undertaken to recruit nurses and to encourage schoolgirls to become interested, but this does not seem to attract the people whom we think ought to take up this work.

Mrs. Leah Manning

Will my right hon. Friend remember, when he interviews the matrons, to suggest to them that nurses should be allowed to live outside the hospitals, and also to suggest that as much part-time work as possible is provided? Would not this be the best form of recruitment?

Mr. Isaacs

These points will be drawn to the attention of the matrons, but I shall not be doing the interviewing.