§ Mr. John Fraser
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his policy on the employment of agency nurses in National Health Service hospitals; and what assessments he has made of the effect of employing agency nurses on the stability of employment of National Health Service nurses.
§ Dr. John Dunwoody
Our policy is that National Health Service hospitals should be staffed by directly employed nurses and the discretion of hospital boards to employ agency nurses has been limited to the minimum necessary to avoid disruption of services to patients. My right hon. Friend is watching the situation closely.