HC Deb 11 February 1982 vol 17 cc419-20W
Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the total number of nurses employed by the National Health Service in Northern Ireland including pupils, students and auxiliaries in 1972, May 1979 and at the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will give the cost at each date in current and constant terms.

Mr. John Patten

I regret that it is not possible to give information for 1972, when a different form of accounting was in use. I have therefore provided information for 1975. Information on the number of nurses, including pupils, students and auxiliaries employed in the Health Service in Northern Ireland is collected quarterly, thus the information below is for the nearest date to that requested:

Date Total Number Whole-Time
30 June 1975 16,509 14,815
30 June 1979 18,217 16,318
31 December 1981 20,585 18,357

The staging of some pay settlements in recent years entailed the payment in one year of arrears from the prior year and it is therefore not possible to make comparisons between years on a constant price basis. The current cost of the financial years were as follows:

Year Costs £ million
1975–76 42.7
1978–79 61.9
1979–80 76.0
1980–81 109.5

This decision will not affect the long-term SSN force level expected to be achieved by the end of the decade. We are now inviting tenders for a further hunter/killer submarine, SSN 17.