§ Mr. McMahon
asked the Prime Minister when the most recent meeting with representatives of all those involved in the hospital dispute took place; and if she will make a statement.
§ The Prime Minister
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services and my hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Health last met the representatives of the Health Service unions and the professional bodies on 22 June. My right hon. Friend was able to inform them that the Government were prepared to make extra resources available for pay to allow pay increases averaging 6 to 7½per cent. On 16 September the Government made further proposals for a two-year settlement—costing almost£1,110 million overall. Members of the TUC health services committee had a discussion with Ministers about these proposals but the full committee refused the invitation to have negotiations upon them. Talks on the proposals are continuing with the Royal College of Nursing and a number of other professional bodies. The Health Service unions also should now return to negotiations and call off their industrial action.