§ Lord Rix
asked Her Majesty's Government:
How many school nurses there were in each of the past five years, identifying separately nurses working in mainstream schools and those working in special schools; and [HL1954]
Whether the number of school nurses has been increased in recent years to reflect the increasing numbers of school children with profound and multiple disabilities. [HL1955]
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath)
This information is not collected centrally. It is for local organisations to plan school nursing services to reflect the needs of the local school-aged population and national priorities.
The Government are increasing the number of training commissions for school nursing which will increase those entering the workforce. Between 1998–99 and 2001–02 the number of nurses entering training to become a school nurse has increased by 33 per cent.
The NHS Plan and manifesto targets for increasing the overall nursing workforce has been achieved early. Delivering the NHS Plan, published in April 2002, forecasts an extra 35,000 nurses employed in the NHS by 2008 over 2001 levels. This means an increased supply of qualified nurses from which school nurses can be recruited and trained.