§ Mr. Ray Dobson
asked the Minister of Health whether he will make a statement on the Report of the Salmon Committee.
§ Mr. K. Robinson
Yes. The Committee's main recommendations on the pattern of a "line" system of nursing administration, a simplified grading structure, and systematic preparation for management responsibility have been widely welcomed, and the Secretary of State for Scotland and I accept them in principle. We have reservations on some matters and others require further study, and implementation of the recommendations must also be subject to our resources of manpower and finance.187W
We agree that the new system of grading and administration should be worked out in practice in pilot schemes, and I shall shortly be writing to hospital boards inviting their co-operation in selecting groups where these schemes can best be introduced, with the appointment of a chief nursing officer to reshape the nursing services in line with the Committee's recommendations. In Scotland regional hospital boards are being asked by my right hon. Friend to identify suitable areas for pilot schemes in consultation with boards of management.
On the management training of nurses I am taking steps to set up a national committee, which will however be rather more broadly based than the Salmon Committee suggested. The Secretary of State has under consideration arrangements for the co-ordination of management training in Scotland.
The revised staffing structure which will involve a major reorganisation, should result in an improved service with better opportunities in the top posts in the profession. Discussions on appropriate safeguards for any in these positions who may be adversely affected are already in progress in the Nurses and Midwives Whitley Council.
The Secretary of State joins with me in expressing gratitude to the Chairman and members of the Committee for a Report which has already become a landmark in the history of the nursing profession.