HC Deb 10 December 1962 vol 669 cc9-10
22. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Health if he will amend the scales of pay for pre-nursing students so that they may receive the same increase as was awarded to nurses from 1st April, 1962, and from the same date.

31. Mr. K. Lewis

asked the Minister of Health what pay increase he is authorising for hospital nursing cadets.

The Minister of Health (Mr. Enoch Powell)

I am authorising an increase of 7½ per cent. from 1st August.

Mrs. Castle

While thanking the Minister for having authorised the increase, might I point out to him that this question has arisen each time the nurses have had an increase? Why cannot these hospital cadets, most of whom go into nursing and are keen nursing students, receive the same increase as the nurses from the same date? Does the right hon. Gentleman not remember that when I raised this with him last year, he said that he would bear it in mind for the future?

Mr. Powell

I said that the question was not prejudged for the future. As the hon. Lady knows, the cadets received their last increase four months later than the rest of the nursing staff.

Mr. Lewis

Can my right hon. Friend give us any details of this payment?

Mr. Powell

It is a general increase of 7½ per cent. applied to all the rates payable to them in their different grades.

Mr. K. Robinson

Since the nursing cadet scheme has done so much for the nursing profession in staffing our hospital service, and since they get so little encouragement from official sources, does the Minister not think that in future he could make arrangements for these pay increases to be automatic and dated from the time the nurses get their increases?

Mr. Powell

The date on which an increase was last received by a given class of staff is a very relevant factor in these matters, and it seems to me that it has been properly taken into account here.

Mrs. Castle

Is not the Minister now penalising these cadets for the fact that there was a delay in giving them an increase last time? He cheated them of four months' pay last time and then uses this as an excuse for cheating them of four months' pay this time. Is it not time that he showed a little more honourable treatment of a section of youngsters whom we should be encouraging to enter a noble profession?

Mr. Powell

No. There has been throughout this difference in timing of the increase received by the cadets and by the nurses, and it is quite appropriate that the date of the last increase should be taken into account.