To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisfied with security arrangements in National Health Service premises to protect (a) National Health Service staff and (b) National Health Service property.
A number of steps have been taken to improve standards of security in the National Health Service. Comprehensive guidance in the form of a security manual has been issued to the Health Service. All district health authorities have developed security strategies based on this guidance, tailored to meet the requirements of their individual localities. These strategies have been approved by regional health authorities which are responsible for monitoring their effectiveness.The Department's advisory committee on violence to staff, under the chairmanship of my noble Friend, is currently considering the question of acts of violence against staff including those working in the National Health Service. The committee hopes to report to my right hon. Friend by early spring.Stricter accounting procedures have been introduced to improve the identification of sources of losses. We are satisfied that this range of initiatives has already helped to raise the general level of security in the Health Service and will continue to do so.