HC Deb 22 February 1960 vol 618 cc16-7
24. Mrs. Slater

asked the Minister of Health, what steps are being taken to encourage more local authorities to train public health inspectors.

Mr. Walker-Smith

The improvement in recruitment, to which I have referred in previous replies continues. The new training and examination scheme of the Public Health Inspectors Education Board when it comes into operation should further encourage local authorities to undertake the training of public health inspectors.

Mrs. Slater.

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman tell us when this training scheme will come into operation? Is he aware that many local authorities, like my own, which train public health inspectors, find that other local authorities, which take no responsibility at all in this matter, immediately take them off their hands by offering them a house or a little more salary? Should not every local authority be on equal terms in training their own inspectors and taking their fair share of responsibility?

Mr. Walker-Smith

I cannot give precise details of the scheme for which the hon. Lady asks, but when it comes into operation it will enable any local authority to undertake the training of public health inspectors if the Board is satisfied that that results in a satisfactory training. As to numbers, the great thing is to have more public health inspectors overall, and I am glad to say that 214 qualified last year, which is 14 more than the target set by the working party.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman give special attention to the training of assistants to look after air pollution, which has so important a health aspect?

Mr. Walker-Smith

I will certainly bear the right hon. Gentleman's question in mind.