§ Mr. Dorrell
[holding answer 5 March 1992]: Operating theatre cases and sessions data have been collected annually since 1987–88 although the figures are not necessarily equivalent to the number of surgical operations carried out. Theatres are sometimes used for medical procedures requiring a sterile environment; some minor operations are performed outside a theatre.637W
Operating theatre activity figures Cases treated in surgical acute specialties, Northern Regional Health Authority Year Cases In-patients Day cases 1979 — 1137,014 129,718 1987–88 235,444 1175,281 2— 1988–89 243,403 3174,101 351,996 1990–91 250,864 3183,851 358,688 1 Hospital discharges. 2 The quality of 1987–88 figures for day cases was adversely affected by the introduction of new collection systems in the National Health Service. 3 Finished consultant episodes.