§ 30. Mrs. Castle
asked the Minister of Health how many pre-nursing students who attained the age of 17 years during the past year have taken up employment as student nurses.
§ Mrs. Castle
In that case, is not the hon. Member aware—or ought not he to be aware—that the overwhelming proportion of the pre-student nurses, or hospital cadets as they are sometimes called, go on into the nursing career as soon as their age enables them to do so? In view of that fact, is it not time that they were treated as part of the nursing service and therefore received the same pay increases as nurses automatically at the time when the nurses receive them?
§ Mr. Braine
Those below the minimum age for entering nurse training—and the minimum age is 18 and not 17—may prepare themselves in two ways. They may either remain at school or colleges of further education, or enter hospital employment as nursing cadets. There are ample opportunities for nursing cadets to enter nurse training. No fewer than 20,000 new student nurses and 4,000 pupil nurses enter each year. The information which the hon. Lady has sought is not available, but it is known that two-thirds of those entering nursing cadet schemes from 1954 to 1960 later took up nurse training.
§ Mrs. Castle
Has not the hon. Member obliged me by proving my point? Will he therefore answer the second half of my supplementary question and agree that these hospital cadets should be treated exactly as nurses are treated in the matter of pay?