§ Mr. Michael McNair-Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what was the ratio of nurses to patients in National Health Service hospitals in 1970, 1975 and 1980 and at the latest available date;
(2) what was the ratio of doctors to patients in National Health Service hospitals in the years 1970, 1975 and 1980 and at the latest available date.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
[pursuant to his reply, 23 November 1984, c.326]: I do not consider that meaningful ratios of the type requested can be produced. Manpower statistics cover staff working in hospitals and are collected at a particular point in time; but they do not show what activities within the hospital the staff are engaged upon —for example, whether they are providing treatment to inpatients, outpatients or accident and emergency patients. By contrast, activity statistics show the number of cases treated during the year in NHS hospitals divided into day cases, inpatient and outpatient cases (including accident and emergency cases). Any overall staff-patient ratio is an extremely crude measure both for these reasons and because it does not take into account varying factors such as age of patients and type or complexity of treatment given.
Relevant information on manpower and activity for 1970, 1975 and 1980 and 1983 (the latest available date) is given in the tables.
My reply needs to be revised to take account of fresh information about some of the authorities listed and to correct certain errors, as follows:Ashford would qualify for authorisation for council tenants as well as private tenants;Castle Point, Havering, Isle of Wight and Peterborough development corporation were listed as qualifying for authorisation for council tenants, but do not do so;Dover and Wokingham were listed as qualifying for authorisation for private tenants, but do not do so.