HC Deb 14 December 1983 vol 50 cc497-9W
Mr. Austin Mitchell

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will publish for each year since 1978 and at the latest available date the number of National Health Service hospital wards closed (i) 1948, met separately. Under the national assistance scheme in 1948 there was no distinction between ordinary and long-term rates, and there was a separate rate for non-householders aged 18 to 20 instead of a single rate for all non-householders aged 18 and over as now.

Increase in real value of supplementary benefit scale rates since 1948 (per cent.)
Scale rates Ordinary rate Long-term rate
109 162
Single householder 115 173
Non-householder aged 21 and over 106 162
Non-householder aged 18 to 20 135 199

Mr. Gordon Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many children were living in families below the supplementary benefit level, on supplementary benefit and with incomes up to 40 per cent. above supplementary benefit level, classified by employment status and whether there were one or two parents, for 1981 on (a) the latest basis and (b) on a basis comparable to 1979.

Dr. Boyson

[pursuant to his reply, 14 November 1983, c. 328]: The information requested is shown in the following table. The assumptions on which these estimates are based are contained in a set of tables entitled "Low Income Families—1981" deposited in the Library of the House.

permanently and (ii) temporarily and the average number of National Health Service hospital beds which could not be used because of staff or other shortages.

Mr. John Patten

Information is not readily available in the form requested. Numbers of beds in hospitals or parts of hospitals approved for permanent closure are as follows. Information on temporary closures is not collected centrally. Information on beds which cannot be used is not collected routinely but in March 1982 there were 934 hospital beds unopened because of lack of resources; the figure now is 735.

Number of beds involved in part and complete hospital closures 1978 to 1983
Year Bed Numbers
1978 4,895
1979 1,987
1980 2,690
1981 2,615
1982 1,182
1983* 2,683
* (to 30 September)