HC Deb 16 July 1968 vol 768 c1229
22. Mr. Wallace

asked the Minister of Health what arrangements he has made for the former National Hospital Service Reserve (Nursing Reserve) to continue its services to hospitals within the National Health Service.

Mr. K. Robinson

The National Hospital Service Reserve constituted under the provisions of the Civil Defence Act, 1948, will be discontinued as from 1st August, but my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and I are suggesting that hospital authorities should consider offering volunteers opportunities to help hospitals in peace time in a reserve of the same name organised on a local basis. We are asking hospital authorities to convey to all who are now giving nursing service in the reserve our thanks and those of the nation for the time and effort they have so readily given to their work. We also thank the St. John Ambulance Association and Brigade, the British Red Cross Society and the St. Andrew's Ambulance Association who have assisted greatly in the organisation and training of the reserve.

Mr. Wallace

Is my right hon. Friend aware that his tribute to the work of the Nursing Reserve will be very much appreciated, and that I endorse his remarks? Will he be a little more explicit about local arrangements? What are the financial arrangements for volunteers? Have they to buy their uniforms, or will assistance be given to the management committees to avoid drawing on hospital funds?

Mr. Robinson

A circular to hospital authorities giving guidance on ways in which the reserve might be continued as a peace-time hospital reserve will be issued within about a week, and I ask my hon. Friend to await the issue of that circular.