§ Sir W. Smithers
asked the Minister of Health whether Miss Brownlow, lately matron at Farnborough Hospital, has now agreed to the publication of a letter he wrote to the council; and, if so, will be now give the terms of that letter?
§ Mr. E. Brown,
pursuant to his reply [OFFICIAL REPORT, 31st July, 1941, col. 1537 Vol. 373], supplied the following copy of a letter:
Ministry of Health,
10th June, 1941.
County Hospital, Farnborough.
I am directed by the Minister of Health to refer to your letter I/N of the 28th March and previous correspondence concerning difficulties experienced in the administration of the nursing services at the hospital. After a recent visit to the hospital, in the course of which he discussed the position with the Chairman of the Public Assistance Committee and with Miss lies and Miss Brownlow, the Minister is satisfied that the arrangements embodied in the direction given by Mr. Macdonald on the 20th December, 1940, which were designed to secure that Miss lies should act as Superintendent-Matron of the Hospital and Miss Brownlow should assist her, have not proved successful and cannot in the interests of the efficiency of the Hospital be allowed to continue. The Minister is satisfied that Miss lies, if assured of the loyal assistance of the nursing staff, is fully competent to administer the nursing side of the Hospital in all its Departments, but that the continuance of Miss Brownlow in her present position is incompatible with efficient administration. At the same time he does not feel that on the evidence before him he would be justified in removing Miss Brownlow from office under the powers contained in the Public Assistance Order. In the circumstances he has decided that in order to secure the efficient administration of the Hospital the proper course is to place Miss Brownlow forthwith oh leave with pay (including the sum paid to her in lieu of emoluments) and he accordingly directs the County Council, notwithstanding the terms of the previous direction, to take the necessary steps for this purpose. This arrangement will continue until further notice or until Miss Brownlow takes up other remunerative employment. In the latter event the adjustment of the payments made by the Council to Miss Brownlow will be necessary.
The Minister would be glad if this decision might be conveyed forthwith to Miss Brown-low, and desires to be informed of the date 1801W from which it will take effect. The Minister understands that the absence of Miss Brownlow is unlikely to entail the appointment of an additional matron as a substitute and in that case no additional cost will be incurred by the Council. The salary and emoluments of Miss lies will continue to be recognised, in the settlement on form A.G.138, as a special item of expenditure arising out of the Emergency Hospital Scheme, and therefore to be reimbursed in full, so long as the Council remains liable for the payment of the whole of Miss Brownlow's remuneration. Any reduction, however, in this liability would correspondingly reduce the portion of Miss lies' remuneration which is to be treated as a special item of expenditure, leaving the balance to be apportioned between the Council and the Department in the same way as other items of expenditure on general administration.
I am. Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
(Sgd.) A. W. NEVILLE,
The Clerk of the Kent County Council,
County Hall, Maidstone.