To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nurses there were per head of population in (a) each region and (b) England in each year since 1997. 
The in formation requested is available in the Library. Between 1997 and 2001 the number of nurses employed in the National Health Service has increased by 31,520 and the number of qualified nurses per 1,000 population has increased from 6.6 to 7.1 in the same period. Provisional figures for September 2002 show a further increase of around 17,000 qualified nurses since September 2001.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nurses there were per head of population in each region in each year since 1996. 
Because of boundary changes, information on nurses per head of population by region in 1996 is not available. The available information has been placed in the Library.