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Volume 402: debated on Friday 4 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nurse returners (a) have been recruited to return to practice schemes, (b) have successfully completed these schemes and (c) have subsequently been employed by the NHS in England, for recruits entering schemes (i) from 1 April 1999 to 31 March 2000, (ii) from 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001, (iii) from 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002 and (iv) from 1 April 2002, including the latest statistics available, in (A) England and (B) each NHS region. [106209]

The information available is shown in the table.

Number of Nurses and Midwives who have returned to work in the NHS1
Northern and Yorks295733545
North West622331288
West Midlands334384344
South East622807660
South West183466373
Midlands and Eastern3586
Overall total13,140
1 Figures for those attending and completing return to practice courses are not available.
2 For April to September 2002 only.
3 From 2002 the NHS regions have changed from eight to four.


Quarterly returns from Workforce Development Confederations

Between February 1999 and September 2002 13,140 former nurses and midwives had returned to work in the National Health Service. Return to practice courses for nurses, midwives and health visitors who wish to return to the NHS are free and from 1 April 2001 healthcare professionals returning to the NHS receive a minimum of £;1,000 income to support them whilst they are retraining (£1,500 for midwives). They are also entitled to assistance with childcare costs and the cost of travel and books. In both 2001–02 and 2002–03 the Department allocated funding to workforce development confederations for 4,500 former nurses and midwives to attend return to practice training

An Evaluation Study commissioned by the Department of Health, show that 86 per cent. of people that had completed a Return to Practice course in the last three years had returned and remained in practice.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the vacancy rate was for nurses working in coronary care in (a) England, (b) each NHS region and (c) each NHS trust in each of the last six years; [106598](2) how many nurses were working in coronary care in the NHS. [106597]

Nurses employed in coronary care are included in the number of nurses employed in acute, elderly and general care.As at September 2001, the number of nurses employed in the acute, elderly and general care was 177,900.The national health service vacancy survey, first collected in March 1999, collects information on the number of posts which trusts are actively trying to fill which have been vacant for three months or more. Between March 1999 and 2002 the three-month vacancy rate for acute, elderly and general nurses has fallen from 3.6 per cent. to 3.2 per cent.; this demonstrates that our recruitment and retention initiatives are making an impact.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of student nurses, who successfully completed a three year nursing diploma course to become a registered general nurse, failed to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council within one year of completion of their course in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [106175]

Since 1 April 2002, of the 18,766 nurses completing diploma and degree studies, 17,782 (95 per cent.) are now registered, 930 (5 per cent.) are pending awaiting fee payment and 54 (0.3 per cent.) have, to date, made no attempt to register. Separate figures for those completing diploma and degree studies are not held.Registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council during 2001–02 was disrupted when the computerised registration system was closed down for 12 days in March 2002.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of student nurses undertaking three year nursing diploma programmes to become registered general nurses failed to complete the course in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [106208]

Data on nurses failing to complete their studies were last collected nationally in 2000–01. The following table shows the number of leavers (nurses who failed to complete the course) by 2000–01 for the last four cohorts where there were substantial numbers of active students undertaking three year nursing diploma programmes.






This data are based on a snapshot in time of a particular cohort(s) and therefore each year there will still be students who have yet to complete their course.

Net Present Costs of PFI v. PSC Option


PFI £000

Public £000

Savings in net present value terms £000

Percentage difference

Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust1,166,3261,179,43113,1051.11
West Middlesex University Hospitals NHS Trust1,082,9001,088,0005,1000.47
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust240,600241,6131,0130.42
St. George's Hospitals NHS Trust565,565565,7682030.04
West Berkshire Priority Care NHS Trust273,245282,2288,9833.18
Total projected savings28,404

Details of expected savings on PFI schemes are not held centrally for schemes with a capital value below £20 million.