HC Deb 18 March 1997 vol 292 cc709-10
3. Mr. Harry Greenway

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospitals' chief nursing officers currently bear the title matron; and if he will make a statement. [19163]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Mr. Simon Burns)

The information requested is not available centrally. Job titles may have changed, but the principles of professional leadership remain and trusts can use the title matron if they wish.

Mr. Greenway

I invite my hon. Friend to consult those who have matrons in their hospitals and others who have known hospitals with matrons. Is he aware that they are very glamorous people? Matron is a better and more meaningful title than any other for a chief nursing officer. Will he bring back the glamorous matron? We want her.

Mr. Burns

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. The first glamorous matron who comes to mind is Hattie Jacques; glamour comes in all shapes and forms. I think that my hon. Friend will agree that it is crucial that we have a management system which provides the most effective health care for patients being treated under the national health service.