HC Deb 04 November 1968 vol 772 cc479-80
41. Mr. Costain

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he plans to take to reduce the present high rate of turnover of staff for old people's homes.

43. Mr. Hornby

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he intends to take to increase the number of qualified staff for old people's homes.

Mr. Snow

Discussions are in progress aimed at the early start of new training courses for these staff, and training should help to reduce turnover. Conditions of service are also an important factor, but this is a matter for the employing local authorities, who are, I am confident, well aware of the position.

Mr. Costain

Does the Minister appreciate the special difficulties occasioned by people working in these hospitals and the need to give them special pay? Is it not true that only those who are dedicated spend long periods of their lives doing this work? Will he make it easier for them?

Mr. Snow

I have visited many of these old people's homes, and the hon. Gentleman is right in saying that the conditions of work in them need to be improved. Pay considerations come with in the responsibilities of the appropriate Whitley Council. I have been impressed by the sterling work that is done by some married couples in this matter. At present no training arrangement is authorised, and that is being looked into.

Mr. Hornby

Is it not a fact that about 80 per cent. of those doing this work are without any training qualifications? Is not this an unduly high figure?

Mr. Snow

Yes, Sir. It is high, and that is why we are now trying to organise a training formula; and this should result in more qualified people being recruited.

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