§ Tim Loughton
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many paediatric intensive care nurses have been employed in the NHS in each of the last six years, expressed as whole time equivalent posts. 
§ Mr. Hutton
Information on the number of paediatric intensive care nurses employed in the national health service is not collected centrally. Paediatric intensive care nurses are included in the total for paediatric nurses. The number of paediatric nurses employed in the NHS is shown in the table.
NHS Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS): Qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff employed in the paediatric area of work in England as at 30 September each year Whole-time equivalents Headcount 1996 12,590 15,520 1997 12,590 15,340 1998 13,080 16,270 1999 13,380 16,690 2000 13,640 16,920 2001 14,000 17,640
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
Figures exclude agency staff.
Department of Health Non-Medical Workforce Census.
The number of whole-time equivalent paediatric nurses employed in the NHS has increased by 1,410, or 11 per cent., between September 1996 and 2001.
§ Tim Loughton
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ask the National Institute for Clinical Excellence to appraise the evidence relating to treating infant medical health problems. 
§ Jacqui Smith
It is the role of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence to provide patients, health professionals and the public with authoritative, robust and reliable guidance on both individual health 1201W technologies, including medicines, medical devices, diagnostic techniques, and procedures and the clinical management of specific conditions—some of these relating specifically to treating infant medical health problems.