HC Deb 21 July 1958 vol 592 cc4-5
7. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Minister of Health who determines the academic standards of the professional examinations taken by student nurses; and what complaints regarding these from hospital matrons he has received.

Mr. Walker-Smith

The examinations are set by boards of examiners appointed for this purpose by the General Nursing Council, the body responsible under Statute. I have had no complaints from matrons about them.

Mr. Johnson

Despite that Answer, is the Minister aware that many thoughtful people, both doctors and matrons, are anxious about this matter and think that the high academic standards do, in fact, deter school leavers? Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman please look at the matter again in view of the fact that the largest field of recruitment lies among the secondary modern school leavers?

Mr. Walker-Smith

I do not think there, is evidence that the standard is too high. After all, 84.5 per cent. of the candidates passed the final examination for the last year for which figures are available. That seems to be a fairly good proportion as these things go.