HC Deb 13 February 1967 vol 741 cc74-5
31. Mr. Dobson

asked the Minister of Health whether he is satisfied with the career structure of nursing tutors; and what steps he is taking to improve it in view of the high proportion of nurses that fail the General Nursing Council examinations.

Mr. K. Robinson

This is one of the matters considered in the Salmon Report on Senior Nursing Staff Structure, on which I hope to make an announcement shortly.

Mr. Dobson

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that there is more and more concern about an announcement on the Salmon Committee Report? Does he agree that the only possible way to get good training and tutoring in nursing is to get a good structure and employment and that we should improve on that part of the Report which is sound so that we shall not have so many failures?

Mr. Robinson

I do not know to what extent rate of failure is relevant to the other part of my hon. Friend's question. The General Nursing Council, which, of course, has statutory control of the examinations, looked at the results last October but has so far been unable to isolate any particular cause for the sudden rise in failures. The Council will closely watch the February results to see if the higher failure rate is maintained.

Dr. Winstanley

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the high failure rate is due not so much to deficiencies in methods of teaching as to the pressures under which many of these nurses in training are working and that we could get happier results by looking at this aspect of the problem than by looking at some of the others?

Mr. Robinson

Since the General Nursing Council cannot lay its finger on the reason, I should not like to speculate.

Sir J. Vaughan-Morgan

Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the other part of the Question and say when his Department will produce comments on the Salmon Committee's Report?

Mr. Robinson

Shortly, Sir.

Mr. Braine

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Royal College of Nursing has stated that it is dissatisfied with what the Salmon Committee's Report says on the subject of nursing teachers? Has he firm proposals of his own?

Mr. Robinson

I think the hon. Gentleman would do well to await the announcement which I am to make shortly.