Mr. R. Duckworth
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the large volume of unemployment among nurses; and whether there is any reason at the present time why 1448W fully-trained nurses should be suffering from the lack of suitable posts?
§ Mr. Elliot
I have received representations to the effect indicated in the first part of the question. As regards the second part of the question, I understand that some public health and other hospital authorities and some nursing homes have, owing to a reduction in the number of their patients, dispensed with temporary nurses who have hitherto been employed to supplement their regular staff. It may also be that persons or families who might previously have employed private nurses are, for financial or other reasons, not now doing so. Apart from these causes I know of no reason why fully-trained nurses should be suffering from the lack of suitable posts.
§ Mr. Harvey
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the extent of unemployment among trained hospital nurses since the outbreak of hostilities, while at the same time partially trained auxiliary nurses are receiving salaries for hospital work; and whether he is taking any steps to remedy the situation that has arisen?
§ Mr. Elliot
I have received representations to the effect that numbers of trained nurses are out of employment, owing to certain public health and other hospital authorities having dispensed with temporary nurses. I do not think the unemployment extends to the permanent staffs of hospitals, but in any case the responsibility for staffing rests with the hospital authorities concerned. No substantial number of nursing auxiliaries are undertaking hospital work, and I do not see that there are any steps which I can at present take in the matter.