§ Dr. Godman
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many student nurses there are in(a) the Argyll and Clyde Board and (b) Scotland as a whole; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Galbraith
As at 31 march 1998, there were a total of 7,059 student nurses training in Scotland. Of this number, 898 students receive their training at the University of Paisley.
The training of nurses is no longer directly linked to individual Health Board areas, but through contracts let by the Scottish Office with 7 providers in the tertiary education sector. The contract with the University of Paisley covers training formerly provided within the Argyll and Clyde and Ayrshire and Arran Health Boards.
The supply of and demand for nurses in Scotland are assessed annually, taking account of employers' expectations over a 5 year horizon. This year the intakes to nurse training courses will be increased in accordance with the findings of last year's assessment. A new assessment for 1999 is about to be launched.
From 1 July 1999, this will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.