Project 2000

Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th June 1991.

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Photo of Mrs Maureen Hicks Mrs Maureen Hicks , Wolverhampton North East 12:00 am, 18th June 1991

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he plans to announce the inclusion of further nursing colleges for participation in Project 2000.

Photo of Mrs Virginia Bottomley Mrs Virginia Bottomley Minister of State (Department of Health)

We made £71 million available for Project 2000 in 1991–92 and have already agreed to implementation in a further 14 colleges of nursing this year. The Project 2000 implementation group will be meeting early next month to advise me on the allocation of the balance of funding available and I shall make an announcement as soon as possible thereafter.

Photo of Mrs Maureen Hicks Mrs Maureen Hicks , Wolverhampton North East

Although Wolverhampton will not, unfortunately, be getting a child support agency, because it does not have an appropriate building ready, my hon. Friend will know—because she had the honour of opening it—that it has a first-class nursing college, the United Midlands college of nursing and midwifery. My hon. Friend will be aware of Wolverhampton's disappointment that it has not yet been included in Project 2000. Now that there is more money in the kitty, can my hon. Friend guarantee that the United Midlands college will lbe carefully considered on its merits so that, if it is successful, it can give more representation to Project 2000 in the black country?

Photo of Mrs Virginia Bottomley Mrs Virginia Bottomley Minister of State (Department of Health)

My hon. Friend is a great champion of that college and I much appreciated the opportunity to open it. This year, nearly £3.5 million is being spent on implementing Project 2000 in my hon. Friend's region. We are looking carefully at all the available projects and I give my hon. Friend a clear assurance that the United Midlands college will be given urgent consideration.

Photo of Margaret Ewing Margaret Ewing , Moray

Is the Minister undertaking arty analysis to ensure that an adequate number of bridging courses are available to those who wish to enhance their qualifications? Will she ensure that such courses are evenly spread throughout the country?

Photo of Mrs Virginia Bottomley Mrs Virginia Bottomley Minister of State (Department of Health)

One requirement of Project 2000 is that arrangements are made for enrolled nurses to improve their qualifications. We need to ensure that nurses at every level of qualification have a chance to improve and to continue their training. We spend in the region of £770 million on nurse training and we want it to develop across the board.