HC Deb 24 February 1964 vol 690 cc19-20
28. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Minister of Health if he is now in a position to announce his proposals for resolving the deadlock that has arisen regarding the pay claim of clinical psychologists.

Mr. Barber

A meeting of the Whitley Council has been fixed for tomorrow, when proposals will be considered.

Mr. Robinson

Will the right hon. Gentleman say what proposals? Am I right in thinking that he has himself put forward proposals? Is he aware that this matter has been dragging on for a long time; that the clinical psychologists in the Health Service have salaries which are about 25 per cent. below those paid in the Civil Service and that there is, in consequence, a considerable shortage of clinical psychologists? Is he aware that in some regions as many as 60 per cent. of the established posts for clinical psychologists are vacant?

Mr. Barber

As the hon. Gentleman may know, the chairman of the management side came to see me to discuss this matter because of difficulties which had arisen and, as a result, proposals will be put to the representatives of the management side at the meeting to take place tomorrow. If there is agreement on the management side, the proposals will be put to the staff side in the ordinary way. The hon. Gentleman will agree that it would be inappropriate for me to reveal the proposals before they have been revealed to the management side or, with the management side's agreement, to the staff side.

Dame Irene Ward

In the general interest, will my right hon. Friend circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the dates from which all these negotiations have been under review? Is he aware that in many cases the negotiations have gone on far too long owing to delays on the management side and that it would be to the interest of everyone to see what are the circumstances in this case?

Mr. Barber

If the hon. Lady would like to make a request or put down a Question asking for details of any particular case, I should be glad to consider it.