§ 15. Dr. Vaughan
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what consultations she has had with the medical and nursing professions before closing wards and reducing staffing in the National Health Service.
§ Dr. Owen
Temporary closures of hospital wards and the levels of staffing in the National Health Service are matters for individual health authorities in England. There are established procedures for consultation regionally and locally between the authorities and the medical and nursing professions, and also the other health service professions, on these matters.
§ Dr. Vaughan
I am glad to hear that the Minister agrees that proper consultations are taking place. Will he undertake to have urgent consultations with the Royal College of Nursing following the announcement in the Press today thatUnions push nurses off committees"?Nurses are being prevented from carrying out their statutory job on committees solely because they belong to the Royal College of Nursing.
§ Dr. Owen
Nurses are already represented on area and regional health authorities. The Royal College of Nursing is represented on staff organisations and on the Whitley Council. I shall gladly look into individual complaints, but overall the representation on staff organisation is a matter for the staff to determine.