HC Deb 28 November 1991 vol 199 cc596-7W
Mr. Gwilym Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the average length of time for maternity confinements in Wales in(a) 1961, (b) 1971, (c) 1979 and (d) at the latest available date.

Mr. Nicholas Bennett

Information on length of maternity confinements is available centrally only for those deliveries which took place in hospital from 1982 onwards. The average length of stay for a patient whose hospital stay included a recorded delivery is given as follows for 1982 and 1989:

Average length of stay of delivery episodes
1982 5.2
1989 4.8

Information on the average length of stay of all obstetrics and all GP maternity hospital stays is, however, available for the years requested and is given in the following table. Figures for 1982 are also given for comparison purposes:

Average length of stay
1Obstetrics Days 1GP maternity Days
1961 10.3 9.2
1971 6.2 5.5
1979 5.5 4.7
1982 4.7 4.6
1989.90 3.7 3.7

1 Includes cases in which no delivery occurs.

The information illustrates one of the factors leading to a reduced demand for beds in the modern NHS.