HC Deb 23 November 1964 vol 702 cc881-2
6. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Minister of Health what progress he has made with discussions on the Platt Report on nursing education; and whether he will make a statement of his policy on the question of the status of nurses.

The Minister of Health (Mr. Kenneth Robinson)

My officials have discussed the Report with representatives of the Royal College of Nursing and I am now seeking the views of hospital authorities. It is my intention to maintain and improve the status of nurses.

Mr. Hamilton

Can my right hon. Friend give us any idea of the time-table which he has in mind? Does he agree with the principles underlying the recommendations of the Platt Committee? Will he recognise—I am sure that he does—that unless and until the status of nurses is substantially improved the whole basis of the National Health Service is likely to be undermined?

Mr. Robinson

The Report to which my hon Friend refers raises fundamental issues affecting training and recruitment and hospital staffing. I cannot form conclusions without the fullest consultations, and these, I must tell my hon. Friend, will take some time. I have asked hospital authorities to let me have their views on the Report by 31st January. After that, consultation with the professional organisations will be necessary.

Lord Balniel

Is there any reason why the right hon. Gentleman cannot, at this stage, accept the recommendation that the financing of nursing education should be separated from the financing of the nursing service generally?

Mr. Robinson

I would rather not make any piecemeal reactions to various parts of the Report. I will give my considered view on the Report as a whole when the time is due.