§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) in view of the situation whereby in some districts of the Oxford Regional Health Authority the affiliated trades unions and the professional organisations are meeting on separate committees instead of working together on joint staff consultative committees, if he will make a statement on the working of the present arrangements;
(2) in view of the fact that at Poole Hospital, in the Dorset area, members of NUPE walked out of the Joint Staff Consultative Committee hospital meeting while members of the professional organisations remained, if he will make a statement on the present arrangements;
(3) in view of the situation whereby in the Avon area the affiliated trades unions will not sit with professional organisations as members of the staff side of joint staff consultative committees, if he will make a statement on the present arrangements;
(4) in view of the situation whereby in Basingstoke District the Joint Staff Consultative Committee cannot yet function because the affiliated trades unions will not sit with professional organisations, if 342W he will make a statement on the present arrangements.
§ Mr. Ennals
I am aware of the situations instanced by the right hon. Member, but the position remains that the present arrangements for joint staff consultative committees in the National Health Service, embodied in a General Whitley Council agreement, do not distinguish between affiliated trade unions and professional organisations. In general these arrangements are reflected in individual committees. Since participation is on an entirely voluntary basis my advice to health authorities in these cases is that they should negotiate with their staff the most effective arrangements appropriate to local circumstances.