45. Mrs. Slater
asked the Minister of Health how many hospital boards are now using radiographers from private contract firms.
Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that this steady increase in the number of hospitals using the services of radiographers employed by private contract firms is not something which he should encourage? Does not this practice cost the Ministry of Health twice or more than twice what the cost would be if the radiographers were employed by the National Health Service direct? Is not this practice a step in the wrong direction which will result in heavier costs to the Ministry than efforts to train and employ radiographers directly?
§ Mr. Powell
Many of these hospitals employ outside radiography only occasionally and many have not done so for some time. It could be a perfectly reasonable and economic procedure occasionally to resort to outside assistance
Would the right hon. Gentleman be surprised to learn that I 12 know of a radiographer who was employed by a hospital and who replied to an advertisement by a contract firm, was employed by that firm and sent back to the job which she had just left, but at nearly twice the salary? Should not the Minister be inquiring into that sort of thing?
§ Mr. Powell
The number of radiographers in posts in the National Health Service is steadily increasing.