asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he is taking to increase the number of multilingual health visitors; if he will make special grants to area health authorities with large immigrant populations from the Indian Sub-continent; and if he will make a statement.
It is for health authorities to recruit nursing personnel to meet the needs of their areas. They have recently been reminded that the Race Relations Act permits exceptions for genuine occupational qualifications, for example, for health visitors from a particular racial group. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department has recently published a consultative document which sets out proposals for a grant to replace that available under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966. This will shortly be sent to health authorities and other health interests for their views on whether they should participate in the proposed arrangements.