HC Deb 17 March 1958 vol 584 cc922-3
53. Mr. Collins

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many members of the nursing staff in the hospital at Her Majesty's Prison, Parkhurst, Isle of Wight, have the qualification of State registered nurse; how many nursing warders are employed in the hospital; and what is the average wage, including allowances, of the State registered nurses and the nursing warders, respectively.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Renton)

The staff of the hospital consists of a hospital chief officer, two hospital principal officers and 21 hospital officers of whom one is a State registered nurse. The weekly pay of the hospital officers, including allowances and the pensionable value of quarters and uniform, ranges from £12 2s. 6d. to £14 16s. 6d. according to length of service. The State registered nurse qualification does not affect the pay.

Mr. Collins

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that his answer means that this 65-bed hospital is run by one State registered nurse, ably interfered with by 21 nursing warders, who are former punishment officers who have been given a short course as medical orderlies? As his answer also means that these orderlies are getting higher salaries than is the State registered nurse, is it not a waste of public money? Is there any reason why the very fine efforts of the medical staff at this hospital should be to a large extent nullified by inefficient nursing?

Mr. Renton

The hospital officers all have some nursing training before they are appointed to these duties. It has to be remembered that a large proportion of these persons who go into prison hospitals are people who, if they were not in prison, would not be in ordinary hospitals but would be nursed at home, and that serious cases are sent as a rule to outside hospitals.