HC Deb 06 October 1942 vol 383 cc1086-7W
Sir R. Glyn

asked the Minister of Labour what representations he has recently received from the governing bodies of the London Voluntary (Teaching) Hospitals as regards the position of the hospitals under existing circumstances of increasing work with decreasing staff on account of the continued calling up by his Department; whether he is aware that nurses are being overworked as well as the medical staff; that domestic help of the kind and quantity required is not obtainable; and whether he will arrange that the existing staff, both medical and lay, be directed to remain at their posts and that, as far as possible, other essential help will be supplied?

Mr. Bevin

I have received no representations from the governing bodies of the London Voluntary (Teaching) Hospitals on this general subject, and would point out that nursing staff and women domestics in hospitals are regarded as reserved and are not called up by my Department and men over military age would not be withdrawn. Applications for the deferment of calling up of men of military age are considered individually and no man would be called up until after consultation with the Ministry of Health. The selection of medical practitioners for His Majesty's Forces is carried out by the Central Medical War Committee subject to the approval of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health. I am aware of a shortage of nurses and domestic staff in certain hospitals. As I have repeatedly stated, nursing and domestic work in hospitals is regarded as vital war work for women of all ages, and in addition hospitals themselves can help to meet labour shortage by employing part-time domestic workers to the fullest possible extent. The whole question of making the best use of the services of hospital staff, including the issue of directions in appropriate cases in collaboration with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, is under constant review.