HC Deb 18 June 1968 vol 766 cc125-6W
49. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Minister of Health whether he will institute an inquiry into the circumstances which caused the resignation of the matron of Guy's Hospital and members of her staff.

Mr. K. Robinson

I have obtained a report from the hospital authority and I understand that the matron told the Board that she was resigning because she was not in agreement with their priorities and thought that more emphasis should be given to the provision of better amenities for nursing staff and patients. No other resignations or offers of resignation have been reported to the Board in connection with the matron's.

There is no truth in the reported statement that she was offered a post in my Department.

The matron simultaneously withdrew her application for the new post of chief nursing officer of the Guy's group of hospitals, which now includes hospitals formerly in the Bermondsey and Southwark group. I approved the remuneration for this post on the stated understanding that the post would be fully comparable with chief nursing officer posts being introduced elsewhere in pilot schemes for implementation of the report of the Salmon Committee on the Senior Nursing Staff Structure. Recommendations for application of the report to Guy's, with job descriptions, were to be prepared by management consultants in conjunction with the chief nursing officer, when appointed, and with other senior nurses and submitted to my Department for approval. I am informed that before the chief nursing office post was advertised the Chairman of Guy's held an open meeting of all senior nursing staff in the group to explain and discuss the appointment and that no indication was given that the proposal was unacceptable. I understand that the Chairman and other governors of Guy's met representatives of the nursing staff again this morning, in company with the matron.