§ Mrs. Laing
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many NHS nursing vacancies there were at the latest available date. 
§ Mr. Galbraith
As at 31 March 1998, there were 1,097 whole-time equivalent qualified nursing staff vacancies in the NHS in Scotland. This represents a vacancy rate of 3.5 per cent. part of which is turnover.259W
From 1 July 1999, this will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.