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Nurses (Pay And Conditions)

Volume 958: debated on Tuesday 14 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will issue a circular to hospitals advising that where a State registered nurse has been in post as a ward sister and then elects a further course of training in a specialty, she shall enjoy comparable conditions in accommodation and dining to those of a ward sister.

No. It would not be appropriate for me to issue guidance on matters of this sort which are for local management to organise.When undertaking a statutory course of training, for whatever purpose, a registered nurse must accept post-registration student status for the duration of the course. Similarly, a ward sister taking specialty training under the aegis of the joint board of clinical nursing studies at a hospital other than that at which she is normally employed would be treated in the same way as other members of the course unless the health authority concerned made alternative arrangements. However, I would not expect a ward sister who was already resident at a hospital at which she took up specialty training to be asked to move temporarily from her accommodation, unless special local circumstances so required. Meals are paid for by nursing staff as they are taken and health authorities are responsible for the canteen and dining facilities they make available to their staff.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether a State Regis- tered nurse who has held a post of ward sister in the United Kingdom and has a break in service with the National Health Service before returning to the United Kingdom to take an additional qualification in a specialty is paid at student rates during training.

Since the reply involves a detailed explanation of the relevant conditions of service, I am writing to my hon. Friend.