§ Dr. Stoate
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many health care assistants were employed in(a) acute hospital trusts and (b) primary care trusts in England in each of the last five years; 
(2) what measures he is taking to increase the recruitment of health care assistants in the (a) acute and (b) primary care sectors; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Hutton
The information requested for the number of health care assistants is in the table.
We aim to increase recruitment of health care assistants by developing career paths to encourage unqualified staff to work in the national health service across general practice and acute care. Dedicated investment in NVQ training will allow NHS staff to gain transferable skills to recognised national standards and enable more staff to gain qualifications to enter professional training and progress their careers further. In 2001–02 we expect over 2,000 health care assistants to start nurse training courses.
Investing in staff who do not have a professional qualification supports the goal of increasing career opportunities and qualifications for the support work force, while improving the quality of direct care for patients and freeing up professionals to make better use of their skills.1087W
NHS hospital and community health services (HCHS)—health care assistants and unqualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff1employed by acute hospital trusts and PCTs in England as at 30 September each year Headcount 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 PCTs Health care assistants and unqualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff 2— 2— 2— 2— 500 of which: Health care assistants 2— 2— 2— 2— 40 Unqualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff 2— 2— 2— 2— 460 1 Unqualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff includes unclassifiable staff 2 Not applicable
- 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
- 2. Due to rounding totals may not equal the sum of component parts.
Department of Health Non Medical Workforce Census