§ 9. Mr. David Porter
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the current funding of Project 2000.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
In this financial year, we have provided£30 million from central funding for the implementation of Project 2000. Next year, £71 million will be available.
§ Mr. Porter
Although the Royal College of Nursing has expressed concern that the speed of funding does not match the desire to implement Project 2000 as soon as possible, will my hon. Friend confirm that when it is in place throughout the country, its training provisions will make nursing a most attractive profession for the future?
§ Mrs. Bottomley
I can certainly give my hon. Friend that assurance. The East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney nursing school in my hon. Friend's constituency was among those that received approval in the first wave. By the end of next year, half the nurses training will be in Project 2000 courses, by which time we shall have spent £109 million. That is a rapid rate of progress and, while I understand the desire to implement the scheme even faster, we are content with the speed at which Project 2000 courses—which lay the foundation for the professional nurses of the future—are introduced.
§ Dr. Kim Howells
Is the Minister aware that, laudable though the aims of Project 2000 are, some area health authorities are strapped for cash and are finding it difficult to identify proper campus sites for training nurses? Mid Glamorgan is a classic example. It is being forced to consider closing down the excellent rehabilitation centre at Talygarn to house nurses.
§ Mrs. Bottomley
My right hon. Friend recently announced our plans to carry forward the work on the Peat Marwick McLintock report on nurse education and its management, and also the work of working paper No. 10. We understand that there needs to be proper organisation of nurse training within the regions. I cannot comment on the hon. Gentleman's area, but can say only that, within the English health authorities, good headway has been made in introducing Project 2000 and we are certainly considering nurse education in a broader context as we look to the future.