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Nurses

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nurses are employed by NHS Direct in (a) England and (b) the North West region; and if she will estimate how many nurses will be employed by NHS Direct in (i) England and (ii) the North West region in April 2007. (75660)

As at 30 September 2005, the most recent centrally collected information available, there were 1,909 qualified non-medical nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff employed by NHS Direct in England. Regional information is not collected centrally but may be available from the Chairman of NHS Direct Special Health Authority.

NHS Direct began a 12-week consultation period with staff and staff side representatives on 16 May 2006 on proposals to ensure that its organisational structure, estates and staffing are fit for purpose to meet future developments and demand. The consultation period is due to end on 16 August 2006. The outcomes of the consultation will be made public thereafter.