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West Green Mental Hospital

Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 18 May 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the proper complement of doctors at West Green Mental Hospital where there are over 600 patients; and the present number of doctors at the hospital.

Until recently the establishment of medical staff consisted of a whole-time consultant as medical superintendent, two junior hospital medical officers and three house officers. One of the junior hospital medical officer posts and the three house officer posts are vacant. The very general shortage of house officers has so far prevented the board from filling the three vacant posts in that grade. But it is taking steps to appoint a second consultant as deputy medical superintendent in place of the second junior hospital medical officer.

While I realise that there is a shortage of doctors and especially of consultants, may I ask whether my right hon. and gallant Friend realises that the medical superintendent did not have a clear holiday last year because of the shortage of medical staff? Will he see that arrangements are made for the medical superintendent to have a proper clear holiday this year?

I am sure that the regional hospital board will pay attention to what my hon. and gallant Friend has said.


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the proper complement of nurses for West Green Mental Hospital; and the present number of whole-time and part-time nurses, respectively.

The female nursing staff of all grades consists of 23 whole-time and 47 part-time, and the male staff of 77, all whole-time. The hospital reports vacancies for some 48 female staff, including 39 qualified nurses, and 17 male staff, including five qualified nurses.

Can my right hon. and gallant Friend now announce the decision of the Whitley Council as to whether it accepts the arbiter's award, which once more gives the lead which was abolished by the last Government, and thus encourages student nurses to take up mental nursing?

Over the three years' period of training, the arbitration award gives the student mental nurses £175 more in pay and allowances than general student nurses. The situation regarding the Whitley Council is that the management side has accepted. The staff side has informally accepted but desires discussion on certain points.


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that there is no proper admission block at West Green Mental Hospital; and whether he will instruct the Eastern Regional Hospital Board to reorganise the ward so as to make one.

Yes, Sir. But plans are in preparation for the development and improvement of this hospital. The first stage is the adaptation of existing accommodation to provide one admission ward for each sex, and that work is due to begin this year.

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that a great deal of activity has been stimulated since my Question was put on the Order Paper? Will he stimulate the Eastern Regional Hospital Board to get on with the job?