HC Deb 30 April 1968 vol 763 cc983-4
18. Mr. Moyle

asked the Minister of Health whether he accepts the recommendation of Report No. 60 of the National Board for Prices and Incomes that the use of nursing agencies should be discontinued in National Health Service hospitals.

Mr. K. Robinson

I am considering this recommendation.

Mr. Moyle

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that the present system of nursing agencies is wasteful, inefficient and expensive? Would he not, therefore, agree that the supply of nursing services in London as recommended by the Board is the solution to the problem?

Mr. Robinson

I am considering this proposal, because there are aspects of this which need very careful consideration. On 31st July, 1967, there were 1,300 agency nurses employed in the National Health Service, which was nearly 200 fewer than in 1965. Nearly 1,000 of them were in hospitals in the area of the London boroughs, and some hospitals, in particular the post-graduate teaching hospitals, rely on them heavily. But, of course, I should like to see the numbers reduced. As I say, I am considering this specific recommendation.