HC Deb 12 January 1987 vol 108 cc129-32W
Mr. Gould

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, in respect of the statistics kept and published by his Department, he will publish in the Official Report any changes since 1979 in (a) the statistical series which are published, including those which have been introduced and those which have been dropped, (b) the basis on

Item Recommendation Number1 Comments
NHS non-medical manpower
Census returns of students in the professions supplementary to medicine 15
The distinction between community health and school health nurses, in the annual returns of primary health care nursing and midwifery staff (SBH2(c)) 16
The annual returns of student radiographers by training school (SBH153); the annual returns of teaching staff and students at schools of physiotherapy (SBH154); the annual return of nurses receiving the geriatric lead payment (SBH155), and the annual regional summary census of nursing and midwifery staff (SBH210) 17
NHS medical and dental manpower
The returns on 'joiners and leavers'—both annual (SBH55) and monthly (SBH57) 23
NHS hospital and community health services
Mid-year hospital activity return (SBH1) 33 More detailed information continues to be collected on an annual basis on Form SH3
Quarterly return of sexually transmitted diseases (SBH60) 34 Now an annual return
Census of government owned road vehicles (SBH3) 36 The census was for Department of Transport
Part 2 of return on private patients in NHS hospitals by specialty and admitting consultants (SBH211) 38 Part 1 of return continues unchanged. (Total beds, discharges, attendances)
Part of return on school and child guidance clinics dealing with facilities (20M) 40 Whole return discontinued
Personal social services
Return SSDA 103 and parts of return SSDA107 giving 59
(i) statistics on mentally handicapped and mentally ill persons
(a) admitted to local authority homes and hostels during the year;
(b) resident in voluntary and private homes and hostels during year
(ii)detailed information on residential places available for mentally handicapped and mentally ill persons
Return on homes and hostels for drug addicts and alcoholics (SSDA111) 60
Part of return SSDA512 giving statistics on: 61
(i) days adult training centres and day centres normally open;
(ii) Mentally handicapped persons regularly attending adult training centres and detailed information on places available
Part of return on local authority day nurseries opened or closed during the year (SSDA503) 62
Part of return giving detailed statistics on the meals services provided for the elderly and/or physically handicapped by various voluntary organisations and the local authority (SSDA302) 63
Returns on households visited by home helps (SSDA303) 64
Part of return on persons removed from partially sighted register (SSDA902) 66 Information on registered handicapped persons is now collected triennially rather than annually

which any elements in the statistics are estimated, calculated or presented, (c) the periods over which, and the dates on which the series are collected or published and (d) any other respects in the ways in which the statistics are collected, recorded, presented, evaluated, or published; and if he will explain the reasons for any such changes.

Mr. Fowler

[pursuant to his reply, 3 December 1986, c. 698]: Changes in statistical series are made when the Government's requirements for statistical information alter and in response to changes in the administrative systems on which some series are based. Such changes are documented in the Department's main statistical publications, in introductions, appendices and the footnotes to tables. The principal changes in statistics since 1979 have been: Health and Personal Social Services Health and Personal Social Service Statistics for England As from 1985, the publication "Health and Personal Social Service Statistics for England" is published on a regular annual basis. A number of additional analyses of medical and dental staff by region are now included. Certain statistical returns on health and personal social services ceased as a result of the report of the Departmental study team in the Rayner review of Government statistical services. Fuller information is given in the following table.

Item Recommendation Number1 Comments
Parts of returns SSDA104 and SSDA108 giving 68
(i) detailed information about places, staffing and financial support of children in community homes with education on premises;
(ii) information on community homes other than those with education on premises or assessment centres
Part of returns on adoption (SSDA907) and adoption orders (SSDA907B) 70 SSDA907 has now been discontinued in favour of a new return which is completed in the course of the adoption process and analysed by OPCS
Return on financial assistance to children towards expenses of maintenance, education and training (SSDA905) 71
1The numbers are those of recommendations in the Review of Government Statistical Services—report of the DHSS study team.

A series of statistical bulletins was issued as from 1984 mainly related to hospital statistics. Full information was given in the reply from my hon. Friend the Member for Wycombe (Mr. Whitney) to my hon. Friend the Member for Bury, North (Mr. Burt) on 10 July at columns 273–276.s Health Service Certain booklets containing manpower statistics have been discontinued, for example, those relating to nursing and midwifery staff were last published in respect of the 1981 census, those to other staff groups in respect of the census for the previous year. These statistics are, however, freely available in the Library and an 'ad-hoc' service provides information on demand in the most suitable form for the user. Performance Indicators for health authorities were first published in book form in 1983. Since then the number of indicators has been increased and they are now available on floppy disk. Copies are held in the Library, and print-outs can be obtained. Further information on the basis on which this information is collected was given in the reply from my hon. Friend the Minister for Health to the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) on 21 October 1986 at columns 867–868. Social Security Social Security Statistics The changes made in this publication are mainly due to changes in legislation, the introduction or abolition of benefits, or as a result of general improvements to meet the needs of customers. For example:

  • —New tables were produced on retirement pension and widow's benefit following the introduction of SERPS.
  • —Tables on prices and earnings were amended as a result of the abolition of earnings related supplement.
  • —Summary tables on claims were added as a result of customer requests to summarise trends in claims and recipients of various benefits.
  • —New tables were introduced following the operation of the housing benefit scheme in April 1983.
Annual Statistical Enquiry (Supplementary Benefit) Before 1979 only summary figures were published. After 1979 and commencing with the figures from the 1982 enquiry a full tabulated set of results has been placed in the Library. Starting with the results from the 1983 enquiry this volume has also been available to the general public. Changes in individual series have reflected changes in the regulations governing benefit entitlement. Low Income Family Statistics Before 1979 this series appeared annually but since 1979 the tables have been published biennially. When the 1983 figures were released in July 1986, it was also announced that a technical review of the methods and assumptions underlying the construction of this series was taking place and its findings would be incorporated in future editions of the tables. Tax Benefit Tables These tables have usually been published twice a year, reflecting changes to tax rates in April and benefit upratings in November. With the alignment of these two processes in April 1987 the tables will be released once a year. From the April 1985 edition the range of illustrative family types was extended to include small families with older children. Office of Population Censuses and Surveys Considerably more information was made available on— Fertility statistics (including a new series of conception statistics). Births and deaths analysed by area (including analyses by wards from 1981). Decennial Supplement on Occupational Mortality (but less commentary). Hospital In-Patients Enquiry. General Practice Morbidity Statistics. 1981 Census (particularly for small areas). Other changes include— Ethnic minority population estimates: new series were introduced from 1981. Population projections for the counties of the United Kingdom: biennial frequency was adopted instead of annual from 1979 (following Rayner Review) but more details were made available. Rubella associated terminations of pregnancy: (annual series were introduced from 1974). Congenital Malformation: new series were introduced from 1971. Deaths related to sport: annual series were introduced from 1982. Voters in local government elections: the annual series was dropped from 1980 (following Rayner Review).