HC Deb 05 March 1982 vol 19 cc276-8W
Mr. Rooker

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many claimants are registered at each of his Department's offices in Birmingham; and what were the numbers in 1978 and 1979;

(2) how many employees there are at each of his Department's offices in Birmingham; and how these figures compare with 1978 and 1979.

Mr. Ashley

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many staff there are in his Department's Stoke-on-Trent offices; if he will give comparative figures for one and five years before; and if he will break down the figures to indicate the nature of the work the staff are doing;

(2) what is the average staff to claimant ratio in his Department's offices in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) England, (c) the West Midlands and (d) Stoke-on-Trent.

Miss Wright

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what was the total numbers of employees at the various offices of his Department, covering the Birmingham area on 1 January 1979, 1 January 1980, 1 January 1981 and 1 January 1982;

(2) how many claimants were registered at the various offices of his Department covering the Birmingham area on 1 January 1979, 1 January 1980, 1 January 1981 and 1 January 1982.

Mrs. Chalker

[pursuant to her replies, 15 February 1982, c. ,48, and 16 February 1982, c. 91–93.]: The number of staff needed to do the work required in social security local offices is calculated and allocated on the basis of comprehensive and detailed statistical analyses and forecasts of the work-load which cover a large number of factors, of which the number of claims expected at any particular time is only one. It is misleading simply to compare numbers of claims with numbers of staff at any particular time. Work loads vary considerably by type and duration of claim and the action that has to be taken. All these factors vary over time and as a result of legislative, policy and procedural changes.

Staffing levels are reviewed and adjusted frequently, under arrangements negotiated and agreed with the central departments and the trades unions. Staff resources available also vary over time, and local and regional

National Health Service Manpower

Ratio of whole time equivalent staff per 10,000 managed population*

United Kingdom 30 September 1980

Medical and Dental†

(including Locums)

Nursing and Midwifery General Medical Practitioners General Dental Practitioners Total Manpower (ie all directly employed NHS staff (wtes) and all independent contractors (number)
Hospital Community Health Services
1. Northern 7.2 1.0 81.7 4.8 2.0 178.3
2. Yorkshire 6.3 0.9 78.6 5.0 2.3 173.3
3. Trent 6.3 0.7 72.3 4.8 2.1 164.0
4. E Anglian 6.3 0.7 70.7 5.1 2.4 160.4
5. NW Thames 8.8 1.0 78.4 5.7 4.0 182.2
6. NE Thames 8.6 0.9 83.5 5.2 2.9 191.9
7. SE Thames 8.3 1.0 84.1 5.2 3.0 197.1
8. SW Thames 7.0 1.0 82.2 5.2 3.6 181.1
9. Wessex 5.8 1.0 73.4 5.1 2.7 161.4
10. Oxford 6.6 0.8 67.4 4.9 2.6 152.3
11. South Western 6.5 0.9 81.4 5.7 3.4 180.1
12. West Midlands 6.4 0.9 74.3 4.9 2.2 164.8
13. Mersey 7.2 1.0 87.5 5.0 2.5 187.9
14. Northwestern 7.5 1.0 84.3 4.9 2.3 186.3
England total** 7.3 0.9 79.6 5.1 2.7 179.8
Wales 7.3 1.2 87.8 5.4 2.2 197.9
Scotland 10.2 1.5 113.7 6.3 2.5 240.6
Northern Ireland†† 9.4 1.1 111.9 5.4 2.4 241.5
United Kingdom total 7.6 1.0 84.1 5.2 2.6 188.0
* Figures based on mid-1980 estimates of managed population. Managed population is the resident population after allowance for any formal agency arrangements, for example, where a district manages a hospital for another district.
† Includes whole-time equivalents of hospital and community health medical staff except hospital practitioners, part-time medical officers, (clinical assistants), general medical practitioners participating in hospital staff funds and occasional sessional staff in community health service.
‡ Includes agency nurses and midwives and health visitor students.
║ Figures for general medical and general dental practitioners as at 1 October. General medical and dental practitioners are in terms of numbers, not WTEs.
¶ Includes all directly employed staff—expressed as WTEs—and all full-time and part-time staff in contract with FPCs expressed as numbers, not as WTEs. These practitioner numbers take no account of variations in actual hours worked by individuals in the NHS and do not, therefore, give an estimate of actual "effort" comparable with the whole-time equivalent estimates for directly employed staff. Figures for the general ophthalmic services are as at 31 December.
** The England total also includes the London postgraduate hospitals, the London Ambulance Service, the Dental Estimates Board and the Prescription Pricing Auhority for which it is not possible to give separate saff to population ratios.
†† Northern Ireland:

i. Medical and dental staff exclude locums, because they cannot be identified.

managers are responsible for making adjustments within and between offices to cope in the most efficient and effective way with variations in work loads and staffing.

For all these reasons it is not possible to make valid comparisons between one year and another. It is to be expected that some offices or sections should come under particular pressures from time to time, and this is the current situation in some offices in the West Midlands region. Regional and local office managers are taking appropriate action.