HC Deb 22 July 1957 vol 574 cc28-9
46 and 47. Mr. W. Griffiths

asked the Minister of Health (1)whether he will take steps to ensure that adequate financial provision is made to the Withington and Crumpsall hospitals in Manchester to enable the matrons of those hospitals to recruit the necessary number of nurses to maintain the establishment; and

(2)whether he is aware that provisional financial allocations for maintenance purposes made to some Manchester hospitals are inadequate to enable management committees to maintain the existing services; and whether he will give an assurance that money will be provided at least to maintain the services provided last year.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

The allocation to the regional hospital board is, in my view, sufficient to maintain services at the level of the previous year and provide for a measure of development and improvement. It is for the board to determine allocations to management committees, and I understand these have not been finally settled for the committees referred to, but that the Board is confident that these committees will have sufficient money at least to maintain the existing services.

Mr. Griffiths

Is the Minister aware that a week or two ago he told one of my hon. Friends that the allocations have not been made but there were earlier provisional allocations made? Is he aware that these figures being lower than the expenditure incurred last year, hospital management committees and house committees were contemplating a whole series of reductions of services, including the closing of casual wards and acute wards and wards for chronic cases, and a reduction in the food standards for staff in the hospitals? How can they possibly maintain the service at the level of last year when the financial allocation is lower than the expenditure last year?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

If the hon. Gentleman will study my answer, he will see quite clearly that I said that the allocations have not been finally settled.

Mr. W. R. Williams

Does the Minister recall that he told me that the number of nurses available in the Manchester area was 812 below establishment? Is not that a very serious situation, and will he do all he can to make the position better next year?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

The recruitment of nurses above the number already employed is a development which must be looked at by the board in the light of all the other developments which are involved.

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