HC Deb 22 July 1957 vol 574 c29
49. Mrs. L. Jeger

asked the Minister of Health how many student nurses at the Royal Free Hospital who contracted glandular fever in the course of their duties come from overseas; and what arrangements have been made for their payment during convalescence.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

Nineteen, all of whom have received full pay during their convalescence.

Mrs. Jeger

Will the Minister make it absolutely clear to the House whether the full pay to which he refers came from the hospital governors? Is he not aware that his right hon. Friend the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance refused sickness benefit to several of these girls on the grounds that when they went home for convalescence, as it was described, home was abroad, and they were refused sickness benefit?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

My advice is that one nurse who went home to Malta did not qualify for sickness benefit from the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance, but she was paid her full salary by the board of governors and her fare was paid by the board out of non-Exchequer funds.

Dr. Summerskill

Is there not a question of principle involved here, and might not further inquiry reveal anomalies in the Act? Could the Minister say whether, in the event of the hospital telling these girls—there are so many girls from abroad in this country—to go home, they would therefore qualify for benefit?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

I should like to look at that question, which involves the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance.