Since April this year, special efforts have been made to improve recruitment by a series of local campaigns. Statistics are not yet available to show how much these campaigns have achieved, but immediate results do not appear to have been very substantial, and the problem remains serious. I look for an improvement when the publicity campaigns have had time to produce their effect.
Can the Minister say whether the policy of holding public meetings as part of the campaign has been concluded or is continuing? Can he say whether the recommendation of the Central Health Services Council on the subject of the training of mental nurses has been carried out and, if so, what effect it has had, or what effect it is having, on recruitment?
I will ascertain whether public meetings are still continuing. I am not fully aware of the position. The whole campaign began in April, and I am not sure if each part of it still goes on. As to the suggestion which was made by the council, refresher courses for trained mental nurses, practical courses of training for nursing assistants, and shorter periods of training for both sorts, general and medical, have been taking place, and I think that that is in accordance with the recommendation.