Signs of the Times

[From The Christian Science Monitor, Boston, Massachusetts]

For several years there has been a growing agitation for some measure or law which would improve the standard of nursing homes in England, and would also do something to check the many irregularities and abuses which were, admittedly, going on in a great many places under the guise of a nursing home. As the result of this agitation Gerald Hurst in 1925 introduced into Parliament a private member's bill called the Nursing Homes Registration Bill. This bill, however, was withdrawn by Mr. Hurst on the promise of the Government to consider and inquire into the whole question. ... Though the Government was most anxious to pass a Nursing Homes Registration Bill yet the time at its disposal did not permit it to do so. Fortunately, however, Mrs. Philipson, member for Berwick-on-Tweed, one of the backers of the original bill, found herself in a position to introduce the desired bill as a private member. As introduced the bill required every nursing home to apply for registration to a public authority, one of the conditions necessary to secure registration being that each home should be under the charge of a duly qualified medical practitioner or a qualified medical nurse.

In England there are a number of nursing homes maintained by Christian Scientists for those desiring Christian Science treatment, and it was at once seen that these homes would come under the terms of the bill, and that unless the bill were amended in some way those maintaining these homes would have either to close them down or submit to having a doctor or a qualified medical nurse in charge. The promoters of the bill were approached and it was found that they would not consider any exemptions, but if an amendment could be framed which would not conflict with the main object of the bill they would not oppose it.

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February 25, 1928

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