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Project 2000

Volume 173: debated on Tuesday 5 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will announce the detailed timetable for the full introduction of the Project 2000 training initiative for nurses in each part of England, giving the specific implementation dates for each health authority.

As I announced in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) on 17 May at column 494, we have now approved the implementation of Project 2000 in 17 more schools of nursing over the next 12 months. This is in addition to 16 schemes approved last year. Approval has now been given to nearly 40 per cent. of nursing schools in England, covering a total of 64 health districts, and about 20,000 student places. We have provided central funding of approximately £38 million in 1989–90 and 1990–91 for the implementation of Project 2000 in England.The timetable for future implementation must be largely determined by the funding which can be made available against the background of other competing needs. We must also have regard to the size of the management and planning tasks involved at a time when we recognise that the National Health Service is undergoing many other changes.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the problems that will arise in respect of manpower planning in health authorities in England if the introduction of the Project 2000 training initiative for nurses is not fully implemented as originally planned in 1990–91;(2) what assessment he has made of the problems that will arise in respect of administrative and personnel matters if the introduction of the Project 2000 training initiative for nurses is not fully implemented as originally planned in 1990–91;(3) what assessment he has made of the problems that will arise in respect of nurse morale if the introduction of the Project 2000 training initiative for nurses is not fully implemented as originally planned in 1990–91;(4) what assessment he has made of the problems that will arise in respect of nurse recruitment in health authorities in England if the full introduction of the Project 2000 training initiative for nurses is not implemented as originally planned in 1990–91.

It has always been envisaged that the implementation of Project 2000 in England would be phased over a number of years.