§ Helen Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made towards the introduction of a nursing-led service within the Prison Medical Service; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Quin
Between 1991 and 1997, the proportion of nurses in the health care workforce increased from 14 per cent. to 44 per cent.
The Prison Service issued a consultation paper on 21 October 1997 seeking views from a wide spectrum of interested parties on proposals whose effect would be, if implemented, to ensure that, in due course, all patient care would be nurse-led. The outcome of that consultation is 711W currently being considered and the results will help inform the deliberations of the joint Prison Service and National Health Service Working Group on the future organisation of prisoners' health care established last autumn.