asked the Minister of Health the number of nurses estimated to be required adequately to staff the hospitals of this country; and what steps he is taking to obtain them.
According to returns submitted to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service, there were on the 30th June, 1945, vacancies for about 30,000 nurses of all grades in hospitals and allied institutions, including nursing homes, in Great Britain. I am consulting my right hon. Friend and the organisations principally concerned on the whole nursing position and hope to make a full statement in two or three weeks' time.
In the meantime, as it is obvious that there must be a very reduced need for nurses now in the Services, since the war is over, would he not consult with the Minister of Labour to see if there could not be some immediate releases?
I have already done so, and releases have started. I think the hon. and gallant Member must realise that a large number of nurses in the Forces when they are released, will go home, and not necessarily into hospitals.
Can the Minister say which authorities he has consulted, and whether these authorities include local authorities, and members of hospital boards throughout the country, who are seriously concerned?
They are all represented on the organisations I have mentioned.