HC Deb 16 December 1997 vol 303 c131W
Mr. Moore

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the shortfall in the number of NHS nurses in each specialty in Scotland, by health board area, on 1 December. [21160]

Mr. Galbraith

The information requested is not available centrally, although vacancies, including those which have lasted for more than three months, are monitored at 31 March by the Pay Review Body, and the indications are of a small increase in the levels in 1997 compared to 1996 for Scotland. Contacts with the Service, particularly through the annual exercise to forecast student nurse intakes to colleges five years ahead, do no indicate any general problem, although there are recruitment difficulties for certain specialist areas.