§ Mr. Lofthouse
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he last met representatives of the Royal College of Nursing to discuss recruitment and levels of nursing staff.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
We attach great importance to the need to recruit and retain sufficient numbers of nursing staff. A wide range of issues relating to this objective are discussed in the various meetings which Ministers and officials regularly hold with representatives of the Royal College of Nursing.
Among the many initiatives currently under way in this area are the national nurse recruitment advertising campaign, which has so far resulted in over 175,000 requests for information on nursing careers, and the Open college "Return to Nursing" initiative to be launched next month, for which the Department has provided funding of £100,000.