§ Mr. William Ross
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how long the system of 12 hour shifts for nurses has been in operation in the Western health and social services board area; and whether he can give a comparison of wages and salary costs of the personnel involved in the 12 hour shifts as opposed to the previous eight hour shifts.
§ Mr. Needham
[holding answer 14 March 1988]: The 12-hour shift system for nurses in the Western health and social services board has been implemented progressively 618W since the summer of 1986; information on the comparative costs of wages and salaries is not readily available at present but I will write to the hon. Gentleman with this information as soon as possible.