§ Mr. Dobson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are his Department's latest figures for the average cost of training a staff nurse and a consultant.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
Training to become a registered general nurse, the qualification required for a post as a staff nurse, involves employment by an NHS health authority and it is not possible precisely to separate training from employment costs. The estimated current average cost of training a registered general nurse over the three-year course is £9,750. This figure excludes that part of the cost of the trainee's remuneration and other costs estimated to represent the value of the contribution the trainee makes to nursing services.
Before appointment to the consultant grade it is necessary first to acquire a registrable medical qualification and then to gain suitable postgraduate experience and training in medical training grades. Based on the latest available information the current net cost to universities and the NHS for training undergraduate medical students from university entrance to MB graduation is estimated to be about £100,000. The majority of postgraduate training and experience is gained whilst providing, under supervision, medical care for patients. It is not possible to separate the cost of this training and experience from the contribution to patient care made by doctors in training grades.