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Ministers face raft of nursing questions from MPs

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MPs returning to parliament after the summer recess have hit government ministers with a raft of enquiries about different parts of the nursing workforce.

The state of non-medical prescribing, reductions in school nurse numbers and the practice nurse workforce in London were all the subject of questions asked by local MPs this week.

Oliver Colvile, Conservative MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, asked the health secretary what steps the government was taking to increase the number of non-medical prescribing nurses.

He also asked Jeremy Hunt how many non-medical prescribing nurses there are at level PL1, PL2, PL3 and PL4.

Meanwhile, Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods asked education secretary Justine Greening what steps her department was taking to ensure that the recent reduction in the number of school nurses did not affect the standard of sex and relationship education in schools.

The Labour MP for the City of Durham also asked Ms Greening what assessment her department had “made of the reasons for the reduction in the number of school nurses since 2010”.

In addition, Labour MP for Eltham, Clive Efford, tabled a question asking how many GP practices in the London borough of Greenwich had vacancies for practice nurses.

Further questions were tabled on Wednesday. Nigel Evans, Conservative MP for Ribble Valley, asked what the cost to the NHS was of using agency nurses from overseas and Sir Nicholas Soames asked what funding there had been for practice nurses in his Mid Sussex constituency in each of the last five years.

Although there is no specific rule on deadlines for a reply, the convention is that the MP can expect it to be answered within seven days of the question being tabled.

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