asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make it his policy to furnish information, similar to that available to the Department of Health and Social Security in England and Wales, concerning the total expenditures by each health board on agency nursing to fill staff shortages.
The numbers of agency nurses employed by the Health Service in Scotland are very small. Over the quarter to 30 September 1986, the total hours worked by agency nurses equated to 145 whole-time equivalent staff, this being about 0·4 per cent. of total qualified nursing staff. In view of these numbers, the considerable effort to collect the expenditure information requested cannot be justified.