HC Deb 12 March 1956 vol 550 cc2-3W
30 and 35. Mr. Awbery

asked the Minister of Health (1) if he is aware that the difficulty of obtaining nurses in our mental hospitals arises mainly out of the unsatisfactory conditions of service in this profession; and what steps he now proposes to stimulate recruitment by improving these conditions, as a result of his recent inquiries;

(2) if he is aware of the feeling of dissatisfaction among the staffs of our mental hospitals over the conditions of service and the need for raising the status of this profession; and if he will take steps to have an inquiry made into these complaints before any drastic measures are taken.

Mr. Turton

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for St. Pancras, North (Mr. K. Robinson) on 27th February, to which at present I have nothing to add.

31 and 32. Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Health (1) what steps are being taken to increase recruitment of mental nurses and generally to improve the staff position in mental hospitals, as a result of the discussions with professional organisations:

(2) if he will state his plans for increasing recruitment of mental nurses in Wales and for improving the staff position in Welsh mental hospitals.

Mr. Turton

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for Ilford, North (Mr. Ire-monger) on 31st October last. The measures there detailed apply to Wales as elsewhere. The General Nursing Council is now undertaking a thorough review of the syllabus of training for mental and mental deficiency nurses. Meetings to discuss the secondment of general student nurses to mental and mental deficiency hospitals have been attended by my officers in nearly all the regions and a number of schemes are already in being or planned.

33. Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Health the latest available figures of the numbers of trained mental nurses in Welsh hospitals; and how these figures compare with those for five years ago.

Miss Hornsby-Smith

Nine hundred and nine at 30th September, 1955; 804 at 30th September, 1950.