§ 2.45 p.m.
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the first Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government why a sister in hospital with general and psychiatric qualifications should on promotion to assistant matron incur a net loss in pay taking into account increased lodging charges.]
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SECURITY (BARONESS SEROTA)
My Lords, this would occur only if there were some improvement in accommodation and services justifying an increase in the lodging charge greater than the immediate increase in pay.
My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for that Answer, but I would refute it. Would not the noble Baroness agree that the salary of the sister is £1,315, plus £10 for double qualifications, less a lodging charge of £183, making a net salary of £1,142? Would she also not agree that on promotion the sister, as assistant matron, receives an increase of £44, offset by an increased lodging charge of £54 and the loss of her £10, thus producing a net loss of £20 on her pay? If there is better lodging, she will obviously get it; but I understand that in any case this will be deducted.
§ BARONESS SEROTA
My Lords, I could not agree that unless I knew the 7 facts of the individual case. I suggest that if the noble Lord and I could discuss this matter we might perhaps reach some agreement on it.