§ Mr. Burstow
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many incidents of violence have been recorded against social workers in each of the last five years; what measures his Department takes to monitor such incidents; and what plans he has to review the monitoring process. 
§ Mr. Hutton
Information about the number of incidents of violence against social workers is not collected centrally. However, we are determined to reduce substantially the incidence of violence towards everyone working in social care. We have set up a taskforce to produce a national action plan by November 2000 with recommendations and timescales for action to reduce violence against social care staff and to promote the safety and welfare of social care workers.
In particular, the taskforce will advise the Department on the setting of targets that social care employers will be set for the reduction of violence against social care staff, and the arrangements for monitoring progress. They will also advise social care employers on the development, implementation and monitoring of strategies to reduce violence, to train the workforce in handling confrontational situations, and to support staff who have been the victims of violent incidents.