§ 37. Mr. Tom Benyon
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether the number of nurses and doctors in the National Health Service has risen since 1979.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
Yes. Between September 1979 and September 1980 alone, hospital medical and dental staff rose by more than 1,000, and total nursing and midwifery staff by about 8,500—in whole-time equivalents. The number of qualified nursing and midwifery staff—i.e. excluding learners, unqualified staff—has increased very markedly since 1979. The latest figure available is for March 1981 and this shows an increase in qualified nursing and midwifery staff—WTEs—since March 1979 of about 21,000. Some of this recent growth is due to the reduction in the working week for nurses.
§ 50. Mr. Garel-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many nurses and doctors are now employed in the National Health Service compared with the position in 1979.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
The available information is set out in the following table:
NHS Directly Employed Staff—England 30 September (all figures expressed as whole-time equivalents) 1979 1980 (provisional) Medical and Dental Staff† (Hospital and Community) 37,062 38,200 Nursing and Midwifery staff‡ 358,447 * **367,000
* The 1980 non-medical manpower figures represent a provisional mid-financial year estimate based on returns from 9—out of 14—regional health authorities; all 1980 figures have been rounded.
† Includes locums but excludes hospital practitioners, part-time medical and dental officers, clinical assistants, general practitioners participating in hospital staff funds and occasional sessional staff in the community health services.
‡ Includes agency nurses and midwives and HV students; excludes student nurses (Community).
** For 1980 there was a reduction in the working week for nursing and midwifery staff from 40 to 37½ hours. The 1980 estimate has been calculated on the basis of a 40-hour week to enable comparisons of staff levels to be made with previous years.
The number of qualified nurses and midwives—i.e. excluding learners, unqualified nursing staff—within the total nursing and midwifery staff group has increased very markedly since 1979. The latest figure available is for March 1981 when the total—WTE—number of qualified nursing and midwifery staff was 213,000 compared with 198,000 in March 1980 and 192,000 in March 1979, an increase over the two-year period of about 21,000. Some of this growth is due to the recent reduction in the working week for nurses.