asked the Minister of Health how many hospitals have come under the jurisdiction of his Department since the National Health Service Act came into operation; how many persons in such hospitals are now paid for doing work which was previously done voluntarily; and what is the total cost of employing such persons.
Two thousand, eight hundred and thirty-five hospitals and convalescent homes were transferred to the Minister on the appointed day. I regret that the information asked for in the second and third parts of the Question is not available.
But does not the right hon. Gentleman think that he ought to get such information in view of the fact that a return to the voluntary system might offer quite considerable opportunities for economy in this field?
The voluntary system of administration has not been departed from. The voluntary system is being administered by 10,000 to 11,000 devoted voluntary workers.
But is not the Minister also aware that there are many instances of people who were doing voluntary work in such positions as treasurers to hospitals who are now getting salaries of £1,400 or £1,500?
The hon. and learned Member is quite inaccurate—
No one who does the work of treasurer alone is having any salary whatever.
Can my right hon. Friend say how many people are now getting into hospitals who could not get in before because they did not know the right person?
A very large number.