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Hospital Nurses (Welfare)

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 1 April 1943

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asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the longer hours worked and the strenuous service rendered by hospital nurses, he will recommend to local authorities that particular consideration should be given to the need of providing an adequate and nourishing diet for nurses and an arrangement for hours of duty and holidays for probationer nurses who have to sit for examinations, so that undue strain is not imposed upon them?

I have no reason to suppose that the importance of an adequate and nourishing diet is not fully appreciated by local authorities and other hospital authorities; but I will look into any particular instances which my hon. Friend may bring to my notice. As regards hours of work and length of holidays for student nurses, I would draw my hon. Friend's attention to paragraphs 50 and 52 of the First Report of the Rushcliffe Committee, which has been generally commended to all hospital authorities.

Would it not be useful to circularise local authorities, in view of the fact that some nurses are undoubtedly feeling the increasing strain?

I do not think there is any need for that, because the authorities are represented on the Committee.

Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to raise the standard of cooking?

Is the old rule still in existence by which Members are responsible for facts stated or implied in Questions? If it is implied that conditions are unsatisfactory, ought not Members to get to know that the facts are correct before putting such a Question on the Paper?

I think the hon. Member is asking if Members are responsible for the facts stated in their Questions. Yes, every Member is responsible.

May I ask you, Sir, to elucidate that further, because what is the point of asking a Question if you are certain of the reply?

When one asks a Question, one does not state facts. One states the circumstances from which the Question arises, and one is responsible for ensuring that these are as reasonably accurate as is possible before putting a Question on the Order Paper.

If the facts stated by the Member are wrong and he is responsible, what is the sanction?