§ 86. Mr. Awbery
asked the Minister of Labour the estimated shortage of general and mental nurses in the south-west region and in the city of Bristol; the main cause of this shortage; and what steps are being taken to encourage men and women to enter this profession in greater numbers.
§ Mr. Watkinson
In the South-West Region there are approximately 1,700 vacancies for nurses, including 800 for mental nurses. For Bristol the figures are 300 and 100 respectively. Over the country as a whole there has been a marked improvement; nursing and midwifery staffs in all hospitals have increased by some 13,000 in the past three years.
Recruitment is less satisfactory in the case of the mental and mental deficiency hospitals, where there is a serious general shortage, owing largely to lack of accurate information by the public as to the nature of mental illness and modern methods of treatment. Local recruitment campaigns for mental and mental deficiency hospitals organised during recent months included a successful campaign for the Bristol hospitals.