HC Deb 14 July 1992 vol 211 c961
8. Mr. Nicholas Winterton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the education nursing service under the health service reforms.

Mr. Sackville

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has just written congratulating the profession on the centenary of the education nursing service. In "The Health of the Nation" White Paper we emphasise how important the establishment of healthy lifestyles in childhood is to health promotion. School nurses have much to contribute here—[Interruption.]

Madam Speaker

Order. I hope that hon. Members on the Opposition Benches below the Gangway will allow us to hear what the Minister has to say.

Mr. Sackville

School nurses have much to contribute here and we will be monitoring their vital involvement in the implementation of our health strategy.

Mr. Winterton

May I advise my hon. Friend that, despite what he may hear, I shall be taking an increased interest in health matters. Having just told the House how important the education nursing services are to education and to the health service, will he tell us who will pay for the vital services under the new provider-purchaser system—the Department for Education or the Department of Health?

Mr. Sackville

May I have the honour of congratulating my hon. Friend on his years of service on the Select Committee on Health? I look forward to his many further contributions.

I stress the importance of the education nursing service. It is up to health authorities to provide adequate cover for the monitoring of school children's health. We must accept that the number of school nurses has remained constant against a background of massive extra GP provision as well as special child surveillance clinics, and the fact that the overall health of children has markedly improved in recent years.

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