asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what has been the cost of the implementation of the European Economic Community directive on the harmonisation of nursing qualifications; and how many extra teaching courses, in, for example, English language, have had to be established.
It is not possible to identify a figure which can be described as the direct costs of implementing the directives, but I have no reason to believe that these costs will be significant. However, in deciding the planned level of expenditure within the National Health Service the directives are one factor which the health authorities will have taken into account. No information is collected centrally about these direct costs or concerning the number of training courses, including courses in English language.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many extra European Economic Community nationals must be employed in National Health Service hospitals to bring the present staff complement up to the level of the directive on harmonisation of nursing qualifications.
EEC directive—number 77/453/EEC—is concerned with the framework of common training necessary to secure freedom of movement in the community for the registered general nurse. This directive does not deal with hospital staffing complements and so the question of employing EEC nationals does not arise.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what has been the effect on National Health Service staffing levels of the implementation of the European Economic Community directive on recognition of nursing qualifications; and how many European Economic Community nationals have been employed since it became law.
I understand from the General Nursing Council for England and Wales, which is the competent authority responsible for implementing the directives, that since June 1979 12 general nurses from EEC member states have been admitted to the register. It is not known how many of these nurses have found employment in the National Health Service. In any case recognition by the GNC does not guarantee employment in the NHS as employing authorities are free to select the most suitable candidate for any particular post.