§ Mr. David Porter
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the nurse: in-patient ratio in 1979 and the latest date for which figures are available.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
Manpower statistics cover staff working in hospitals and are collected at a particular792W time; they do not show what activities within the hospital the staff engaged upon—for example, whether they are providing treatment to in-patients, out-patients, or accident and emergency patients. By contrast, activity statistics show the number of cases treated during the year in national health service hospitals. It is possible however, to give a ratio in terms of the population being served. At 30 September 1979, the number of qualified nursing and midwifery staff, measured in whole-time equivalents, was 438.6 per 100,000 population for England. At 30 September 1988, the number of qualified nursing and midwifery staff, measured in whole-time equivalents, was 508.9 per 100,000 population. These ratios have been adjusted to take account of the change in nurses' working hours, from 40 to 37.5 hours per week, during 1980–81. The average number of in-patients treated in a week was 103,848 in 1979 and 126,654 in 1988.