HC Deb 09 February 1987 vol 110 cc106-9W
Mr. Dobson

asked the Prime Minister if she will set out in the Official Report details of the pension entitlements of nurses working in the National Health Service and the armed forces, respectively.

The Prime Minister

All nurses working full time in the National Health Service, and those part-timers working more than half time who opt to do so, contribute 6 per cent. of their remuneration for their pensions. These pensions depend on length of service, superannuable earnings and a variety of other factors which can be precisely determined only in relation to individual circumstances. In general, the main benefit is a pension payable on retirement at a minimum age of 55 for women nurses, and 60 for men, although it may be paid earlier following ill health retirement. The pension is generally 1/80th of final pay for each year of service in the National Health Service, final pay being defined as the best year's pay out of the last three before retirement.

The armed forces' pension scheme is non-contributory. However, the relative value of the scheme benefits is taken into account by the armed forces pay review body in determining recommended rates of pay for the armed forces, and an appropriate deduction made from comparator earnings. That deduction is currently 10 per cent. Under the armed forces' pension scheme, retirement benefits, payable immediately on retirement, are awarded after 16 years service from age 21 for officers and 22 years service from age 18 for other ranks. The annual rate of pension is calculated from a representative rate of pay, for each rank, applicable at the date of retirement. The level

2. Armed Forces—The basic pay rates for military nurses as from 1 July 1986 are:
Daily £ Annual2£ Daily £ Annual2£
OR1—Probationer Naval Nurse 13.82 5,044 13.82 5,044
OR2—Naval Nurse (unqualified) 15.03–18.57 5,486–6,778 17.38–20.92 6,344–7,636
OR2—Naval Nurse (qualified) 17.38–20.92 6,344–7,636 19.89–23.43 7,260–8,552
OR4—Senior Naval Nurse 24.44–26.02 8,921–9,497 26.95–28.53 9,837–10,413
OR6—Assistant Head Naval Nurse 28.22–28.78 10,300–10,505 31.00–31.56 11,315–11,519
OR7—Head Naval Nurse 30.38–31.04 11,089–11,330 36.16–36.82 13,198–13,439
OR9—Fleet Chief Naval Nurse 39.96 14,585
1 The rates given apply to equivalent ranks in all Nursing Services.
2 Annual figures are based on daily rates and rounded to nearest pound.

Mr. Dobson

asked the Prime Minister what information is available to her as to (a) the current nurse-patient ratio and (b) the ratio between qualified and unqualified nurses in (i) the National Health Service and (ii) the armed forces.

The Prime Minister

Manpower statistics covering staff working in hospitals (and also, for the National Health Service, in the community services) do not differentiate between types of activities within the hospital. Overall ratios of staff to patients would not take into account factors such as age of patients and types or complexity of treatment given. The information presented in the tables therefore is in terms of staff employed and patients treated; ratios have not been calculated.

of award increases with the number of years served up to a maximum of 34 years for officers and 37 years for other ranks, providing for a full career pension equivalent to half the corresponding rate of pay to be achieved at age 55.

Both the National Health Service superannuation scheme and the armed forces' pension scheme provide for the payment of a lump sum of up to three years' pension on retirement, dependants' pensions to widows and children, and gratuities following death in service.

Mr. Dobson

asked the Prime Minister what is the average salary of each grade of nurse, including those without qualifications, in the National Health Service and the armed forces, respectively.

The Prime Minister

The information is as follows:

1. National Health Service—87 per cent. of NHS nursing and midwifery staff (excluding agency staff) are paid on the following salary scales:
Basic Salary Scales as from 1 July 1986
Grades Minimum Maximum
Nursing Sister II 8,070 10,800
Staff Nurse/Senior Enrolled Nurse 6,475 7,750
Enrolled Nurse 5,700 7,020
Nursing Auxiliary/Assistant-aged 18 and over (Unqualified Nurse) 4,265 5,525
Student Nurse 1 4,325 2 24,875
1 First year.
2 Third year.

Note The above scales are exclusive of special duty payments, overtime and other allowances and for nurses employed in London, London weighting.

NHS Nursing and Midwifery Staff 30 September 1985
Total Nursing and Midwifery Staff1(excluding agency staff) 397,000 WTEs
Ratio of qualified nurses to unqualified nursing staff2 1.4 to 1
Source: DHSS annual census of NHS non-medical manpower.
1 Figures are rounded to the nearest one hundred whole-time equivalents.
2 Ratio calculated on unrounded whole-time equivalent figures.

NHS Hospital Activity—All Specialties Calendar Year 1985
In-patient discharges and deaths 6,354
Day cases 963

New 8,682
Total attendances 37,440
Accident and Emergency patients
New 10,403
Total attendances 13,804

Source: DHSS SH3 hospital activity returns

Nursing Staff in the Armed Forces 1 April 1985
United Kingdom and Overseas
Total Nursing Staff1 2,900
Ratio of qualified nurses to unqualified nursing staff2 1.8 to 1

Source: MOD Defence Estimates.

1 Figures are rounded to the nearest one hundred. Headcount figures are given, since there are no part-time staff. Comprises trained personnel and persons undertaking on-the-job training and held against established posts.

2 Ratio calculated on unrounded figures.

Hospital Activity in the Armed Forces United Kingdom and Overseas Calendar Year 1985
In-patient cases 117
Out-patient cases 603

Increase in pay rates 1979–86
Pay round year (1 August to 31 July) Nurses percentage increases Firemen percentage increases Police percentage increases Teachers percentage increases
cash real cash real cash real cash real
1979–80 37.9 18.0 20.0 2.7 13.5 (2.9) 20.95 3.5
1980–81 6.0 (4.4) 18.8 7.1 21.3 9.4 19.7 7.9
1981–82 10.1 1.3 13.2 4.1 6.0 (2.5)
1982–83 1 12.3 (0.9) 7.5 3.2 10.3 5.9 4.98 0.7
1983–84 7.5 2.9 7.8 3.2 8.4 3.7 5.1 0.6
1984–85 8.6 1.6 7.2 0.3 5.13 (1.7) 8.5 1.5
1985–86 7.8 5.3 7.2 4.7 7.5 5.0 5.73 3.3
Cumulative 106.6 23.0 109.0 24.5 110.6 25.4 94.2 15.7


1. Figures reflect increases in pay rates, not changes in average earnings.

2. Percentage cash increase for each group reflects full year effect of increases agreed within the pay round year (1 August to 31 July).

3. Percentage real increase for each group reflects the percentage cash increase for the pay round year deflated by the increase in the retail price index throughout the pay round year i.e. in the 12 months to July.

4. Figures in brackets indicate real reductions.

5. The figures above exclude pay changes subsequent to 31 July 1986. Police pay rates were increased by 7.5 per cent. with effect from 1 September 1986; firefighters' pay by 7 per cent. from 7 November 1986. The Government has also announced changes in school teachers pay which would increase their pay by 8.2 per cent. from 1 January 1987 and a further 82 per cent. from 1 October 1987.

1 Two-year award paid wholly in 1982–83 pay round year. (Comprising 7.5 per cent. from 1 April 1982 and 4.5 per cent. from 1 April 1983).

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