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Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 26 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of staff shortages in areas of care formerly undertaken by state enrolled nurses; and what plans he has to create a replacement position to that of state enrolled nurse. [17212](2) if he will make a statement on the impact on health services of ending the position of state enrolled nurse. [17211]

The professional status of the second level (enrolled) nurse remains unchanged. There are currently 332,660 (whole time equivalent) nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff employed by the National Health Service Hospital and Community Services of which some 10 per cent. are second level (enrolled) nurses. Second level (enrolled) nurses continue to make an important contribution to the NHS and their skills and experience have been fully recognised by the clinical grading structure, which rewards nurses for the jobs they do.