asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how outside analogues are used in determining accommodation charges for nurses' hostels;(2) whether the level of increases in charges for nurses' hostel accommodation will be dependent on the level of pay settlements.
Lodging charges for nurses and midwives are negotiated by the Nurses and Midwives Whitley Council. In 1981 the council reached agreement on a revised system of charges which for the first time related them to the actual costs of providing the accommodation. These costs are recalculated each year and the resultant charges agreed by the council. Before that agreement was concluded, nurses' lodging charges fell far short of the economic cost of provision. The Whitley Council therefore also agreed to phase in fully economic charges over a four-year period—two years for students and other staff under age 22—and to provide abatements to charges of up to 40 per cent. for students and others under age 22 and for those in accommodation not meeting the required standard. Details of the lodging charges and abatements are set out in the Department's advance letter (NM)2/81, a copy of which is in the Library. The basis for calculating lodging charges is at paragraph 4 of appendix 1 of that advance letter. I understand that the Whitley Council has not yet agreed revised charges for 1982.