HC Deb 16 February 1959 vol 600 cc4-5W
Mr. Dodds

30, 31 and 32. asked the Minister of Health (1) in view of the importance of the services of a qualified hairdresser to the morale and treatment of a large percentage of female patients in mental hospitals, if he will ascertain how many of the 159 hospitals for females under the, National Health Service do not have qualified hairdressers but rely on the nursing staff to do this work;

(2) if he will take steps to find out in how many mental hospitals female patients are receiving training in hairdressing under expert supervision, with a view to utilising their services in the hospitals, and as part of their training to fit them for their return to normal life;

(3) in view of the widespread complaints from relatives of patients in mental hospitals concerning patients' haircuts and the recommendation passed unanimously at the 1958 annual general meeting of the State institutions, urging the provision of full-time qualified hairdressers, what is being done to provide this service, which plays a necessary part in improving the condition of patients.

Mr. R. Thompson

These are all matters for the hospital authorities concerned. My right hon. and learned Friend is not aware of widespread complaints about patients' hairdressing, and he does not consider that detailed inquiries of the kind suggested are necessary. As regards the State Institutions, no approach on the matter has been made to the Board of Control by the Staff Side.