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Volume 29: debated on Thursday 28 October 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to facilitate the employment in the National Health Service of nurses at present registered as unemployed in order to reduce the need to employ agency nurses.

No. It would not be practicable to take such steps. The number of agency nurses working in the NHS is relatively small, being less that 2 per cent. of qualified nursing and midwifery staff. About 88 per cent. of them are in inner London where health authorities share the difficulties faced by many employers in recruiting the staff they require.