HC Deb 07 March 1955 vol 538 cc8-9
14. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Minister of Health how many psychiatric social workers are employed by hospital authorities in England and Wales, and how many by local health authorities; if he is satisfied that those numbers are adequate; and what steps he is taking to encourage the training of more psychiatric social workers.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Figures for 1954 are not yet available, but in 1953 the number employed by hospital authorities was 280 full-time and 36 part-time; and by local authorities approximately 140 full-time and 13 part-time. The supply falls short of needs, and special grants are available for students.

Mr. Robinson

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the psychiatric social worker is an essential link in any comprehensive mental hospital service, and will not he further agree that the numbers will never be adequate until the salary scales are substantially revised and until additional training facilities are provided?

Mr. Macleod

I agree that they are most important workers. On the question of salaries, there is at the moment a claim before the Whitley Council.