HC Deb 14 July 1949 vol 467 c645
27. Mr. Collins

asked the Minister of Health if he will define the qualifications of a senior hospital medical officer and the minimum qualifications of a consultant under the National Health Service.

Mr. Bevan

I should not presume to do so. Each individual case needs judging on its merits by local professional committees suited to the task.

Mr. Collins

Is my right hon. Friend aware that owing to the lack of information on this subject there is a great deal of confusion and dissatisfaction? Does not he think that a statement on this particular point would be helpful to all the persons concerned with the matter?

Mr. Bevan

I cannot issue any general information on this matter. The grade to which the doctor belongs is decided by a professional committee, and I have not the least intention of interfering with that committee. They decide each case on its merits, and I can do no more than leave this matter to the members of the profession concerned.

Squadron-Leader Fleming

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether, where the doctor has been demoted from a higher grade to a lower grade, he has a right of appeal to anybody?

Mr. Bevan

It is wrong to speak of demoting. This is the first time grading has been done; therefore, there can be no demoting from a superior to an inferior grade. There is a review of the initial decision, and arrangements have been made to establish machinery for the purpose.