§ Mrs. Beckett
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the change in episodes in(a) health visiting, (b) community nursing services, (c) district nursing, (d) community mental handicap nursing and (e) occupational therapy between 1988–89 and 1992–93. 
§ Mr. Sackville
The information available is set out in the table.
New episodes of care 1988–89 (000's) 1992–93 (000's) Community psychiatric nursing 229.7 303.4 Community mental handicap nursing 21.2 20.5 District nursing 2,383.2 2,152.5 Occupational therapy1 774.1 879.4 1Figures for occupational therapy are provisional.
New episodes of care have increased by 32.1 per cent, in community psychiatric nursing and by 13.6 per cent. in occupational therapy. Numbers of new episodes in community mental handicap nursing have remained virtually constant over the period 1988–89 to 1992–93.
The number of new episodes has reduced by 9.7 per cent. in district nursing. This may reflect the increasingly complex treatment they provide, requiring a longer time to be spent with each patient, and also their role as team leaders. Simpler treatments often administered by district nurses in the past may now increasingly be provided by other members of the care team or through self-medication by patients, enabling district nurses to devote more time to individual patients who require their specialist skills.
Information on episodes of care for health visitors is not held centrally.