HC Deb 17 December 1963 vol 686 cc1023-4
8. Mrs. Slater

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works if he will make arrangements for the full-time employment of a state registered nurse in the Palace of Westminster.

Mr. Sharples

I am bringing this suggestion to the attention of the authorities of the two Houses.

Mrs. Slater

Does the Parliamentary Secretary realise that in this building and in the other place there are nearly 2,750 people, including hon. Members, workmen and others who are employed here? Is he aware that if anyone is taken ill we depend on the doctors who are Members of this House—and we are grateful to them for the excellent work they do—or the policemen, some of whom are very good? [Hon. Members: "Some?"] They are very good. We have an excellent staff of policemen in this House. [Hon. Members: "All of them."] Yes, all of them. Is the hon. Gentleman aware that we make laws which apply to factories and offices but that someone who is taken ill or has an accident here must be sent to hospital without being given treatment, that is, apart from the treatment given by hon. Members who are doctors and the policemen? Is he not aware that Parliament, which makes the laws of this country, would not tolerate this situation in premises outside? Will he urge his right hon. Friend to see that this whole business is hurried up?

Mr. Sharples

With respect to the hon. Lady's statement, the appointment of a resident qualified nurse could not take the place of the medical practitioners who are hon. Members of this House and whose services we all appreciate. We must get the matter in perspective. During the last five years the average number of issues per annum from the first-aid box in the room off the Lower Waiting Hall has been 54. Of these, 48 were for Elastoplast and aspirins.