HC Deb 04 May 1959 vol 605 c17
21. Mr. Cronin

asked the Minister of Health what applications for consultant vacancies in the hospital service have been received since 8th December last from Mr. A. H. Barber. the consultant, who was wrongfully dismissed by the Manchester Regional Hospital Board in 1952; and with what result.

Mr. Walker-Smith

My information is that Mr. Barber has made two applications. In one he was unsuccessful, the other is still undecided.

Mr. Cronin

Is it not quite a long time ago that the Minister agreed that there was a moral responsibility on the part of Manchester Regional Hospital Board to re-employ this unfortunate consultant? As the notion of moral responsibility forms an important part of every consultant's contract, is it not desirable that some account should be taken of that to help this gentleman as soon as possible?

Mr. Walker-Smith

Yes, but, as the Regulations of 1950 now stand, the moral obligation can come into play only if a particular applicant has been recommended by the Appointments Advisory Committee as being equally suitable with others whom it also short lists. That is the present position under the Regulations.

Dr. Summerskill

Is it not paradoxical that here is a brilliant gynaecologist out of work while in parts of Britain there are long lists of women waiting for gynaecological operations?

Mr. Walker-Smith

Mr. Barber has his next interview with the Appointments Advisory Committee for a vacancy in the Ashton, Hyde and Glossop Group tomorrow. I think we had better see what comes out of that. The more general part of the question was, I think, covered by my answer to the hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Cronin).