HC Deb 05 April 1967 vol 744 cc238-9
40. Mr. Dewar

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will consider revising the salary levels for hospital pharmacists in order to make them comparable with the sums earned by similarly qualified persons employed outside the National Health Service.

Mr. Millan

It is for the appropriate Whitley Council to initiate any review.

Mr. Dewar

I appreciate what my hon. Friend has said. However, does he not agree that there is considerable danger in a profession where remuneration in the National Health Service is on a scale of between £1,000 and £1,200 that pharmacists will be steadily drained from the service into private practice where the remuneration is more satisfactory?

Mr. Millan

I would not accept that last proposition. My hon. Friend will know that there was a substantial salary increase in April, 1965. He will also be glad to know that in his own regional hospital board area there are no vacancies for pharmacists at present, which suggests that the service is attracting the required number.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the number of pharmacists in the hospital service has declined slightly over the last five years, and is he satisfied that there are sufficient to cope with the demands being made upon them?

Mr. Millan

I am not responsible for the last five years, but the hon. Gentleman will be glad to know that in the last year there was an increase.