asked the Minister of Health, hi view of the fact that plans are now proceeding for new hospitals and major 175W extensions to existing hospitals under the Hospital Development Programme, what arrangements are being made to recruit an adequate number of nurses, in the various grades, to staff the additional beds which will become available; and, in view of the concern of many hospital management committees about this matter, if he will give an assurance that finance will be available so that a progressive recruiting policy can be implemented forthwith.
§ Mr. Powell
The Hospital Plan does not increase the total number of beds. Numbers of nursing staff in post have been rising and the latest figures are the highest recorded. The additional spending power to be made available to Boards year by year will enable nursing staffs to be increased further where necessary.