§ Mr. C. ROBERTS
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that there are several Poor Law infirmaries throughout the country, of which Tonbridge Poor Law infirmary is one, which were sanctioned by the Ministry of Health as minor training schools and accepted for membership by the College of Nursing, and which have up to the present been able to grant certificates to probationers when trained as fully qualified nurses; whether the General Nursing Council has proposed a new rule whereby no nurse can be placed on the register unless trained at a hospital or infirmary with a resident medical officer, which would debar these infirmaries from granting adequate certificates in future; whether he proposes to sanction this rule of the General Nursing Council; and whether, notwithstanding that this new rule may be approved, the probationers at present being trained can be assured that their certificates which, on their engagements, were definitely promised to them at the end of their training will qualify them to sit for the State examination which entitles them to being placed on the State register?
§ Lord E. PERCY
The Tonbridge Infirmary and certain others have been recognised by the Ministry as minor training schools, but my right hon. Friend has no information as to their recognition by the College of Nursing. The General Nursing Council submitted a rule in the sense indicated, but they were informed that it was not competent to them to make any rule limiting their discretion in dealing with individual applications. Any institution which is refused approval by the Council has a right of appeal to the Minister of Health, and he cannot at this stage express any opinion on cases which may come before him on appeal. In any event the decision of the Council will not effect the recognition by the Ministry of certificates obtained by probationers now under training in the institutions concerned.
§ Mr. EDWARDS
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that, in spite 2606W of the rule of the General Nursing Council that all minutes, registers, and records shall be open to the inspection of members of the Council during the registrar's business hours, two representatives of the working nurses on the Council were, by the chairman's orders, refused permission to inspect documents in connection with the compilation of the register; and whether he will make inquiry into the complaint and take whatever steps are necessary to secure compliance with the rule?
§ Lord E. PERCY
My right hon. Friend will cause inquiry to be made, and will in due course communicate further with the hon. Member.