HC Deb 14 November 1972 vol 846 c204
14. Mr. Gurden

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services on what date the next meeting of the Whitley Council to discuss the pay of physiotherapists will take place.

Mr. Alison

No date has been fixed.

Mr. Gurden

Is my hon. Friend aware that there are rumours that his Department has deliberately delayed the meeting to settle these matters? Can he deny that rumour?

Mr. Alison

I deny it with confidence.

Mr. Carter-Jones

Will the Minister please repeat his denial in public, because the physiotherapists do not believe this? Is he aware that they believe the Government are deliberately holding up their award? Is he further aware that the shortage of these people is extremely severe and that those who are anxious to see this type of service extended to domiciliary services believe that not enough action is being taken to recruit more people into this highly desired profession?

Mr. Alison

I confirm that we are not trying to delay anything. The hon. Gentleman refers to shortages, and I would tell him that I answered a Question on this matter the other day. We dispute the allegation that there are any shortages in this respect.

Dr. Summerskill

What is the hon. Gentleman doing to speed up the decision by the Whitley Council? Detailed proposals were sent to the management side of the council two years ago, and I understand that only one meeting has so far been held this year.

Mr. Alison

The Whitley Council proceedings are going on as rapidly as practical problems will permit.