HC Deb 22 March 1922 vol 152 cc483-4W

asked the Minister of Health whether, when he signed the rule whereby the majority of the General Nursing Council decided that nurses should be registered without the documentary evidence of their professional credentials being submitted to the scrutiny of the council, and also one dealing with the matter of altering a rule agreed to by Parliament three months before which provided that standing committees of the council should continue in office until the present council be dissolved in December next, he was aware that these new rules were carried by the majority of those in the employers' interests in face of the most strenuous opposition of every member of the council who represented the working nurse; whether he took into consideration the fact that the former rule practically instituted a dictatorship and delegated the business of the General Nursing Council with regard to registration to one person, namely, the registrar, a paid official, and thus opened the door to irregularities and evasions of the Act; and whether he will have these rules reconsidered?


The rules to which the hon. Member refers were carried by a majority of 16 votes to 6. I cannot admit that the minority were any more representative of the working nurses than the other nurse members of the council. The functions of the council are to settle questions of policy and to adjudicate on doubtful cases, and the practice of individual members undertaking the routine examination of applications leads to needless delay and duplication of work. The delegation to the registrar of responsibility for the examination of all clear cases which are covered by previous decisions is in accordance with the normal practice of similar bodies, and I strongly deprecate the suggestion that such a rule conduces to evasions of £he Act. As regards the re-election of committees of the council, I have nothing to add to my reply to the hon. Member for Clitheroe on 27th February.