asked the Minister of Health, having regard to the shortage of orthoptists in the North-East, what future plans he has for the area to train more people for this kind of job.
My right hon. Friend proposes to inquire if training requirements ought to be modified so that more orthoptists can be trained.
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that this shortage is a very serious matter indeed? Does she realise that one of the main causes for the shortage is the shockingly bad pay, which also applies in other parts of the service? Will she have regard to this urgent matter and try to increase the scales?
The question of salaries is a matter for the Whitley Council. There has been an increase of 55 per cent. in the number of orthoptists in the Health Service since 1949. But we think that we might look again at the training to see whether it is possible to increase the number of students.