HC Deb 31 July 1981 vol 9 cc669-71W
Mr. Haynes

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has issued instructions to the Trent

Dr. Vaughan

Advice on the organisation and staffing of operating departments is available to health authorities in the report by a joint sub-committee of the Standing Medical Advisory Committee and Standing Nursing Advisory Committee—the Lewin report—published in 1970. This recommended that, except for very minor procedures, the basic non-medical membership of an operating team should be three people: a scrubbed assistant—trained operating department nurse or qualified operating department assistant—a qualified operating department assistant working primarily with the anaesthetist, and a circulating assistant—either nurse or operating department assistant. Where non-medical membership of the operating team consisted entirely of operating department assistants, the report advised that a qualified nurse should be readily available in the clean area serving the theatre. Information is not collected on the ratios of nurses and other staff on duty in particular hospital theatres and at particular times.

Mr. Mike Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what were the numbers of medical and dental staff, nursing and midwifery staff, professional and technical staff, ancillary staff and administrative and clerical staff employed in hospitals in England in 1978, 1979 and 1980.

Dr. Vaughan

The latest year for which comparable and complete NHS staff figures are available is 1979, although I can provide some estimates of NHS staff numbers for 1980. The figures should therefore he used with caution. The table below sets out the information for 1978, 1979 and 1980 in respect of total NHS staff in each group:

regional health authority to reappoint members of community health councils within its region; and whether he proposes that the new bodies will operate in shadow until 1 April 1982.

Dr. Vaughan

My right hon. Friend has not yet issued guidance to regional health authorities on arrangements for appointments to community health councils next year. This is one of the matters we are currently considering in the light of the comments received on our recent consultative paper on the role and membership of community health councils. My right hon. Friend will inform the House of the decisions as soon as possible.