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National Health Service (Administrative Staff)

Volume 952: debated on Friday 23 June 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what reductions there have been in 1976–77 and 1977–78 in the total number of persons employed in National Health Service administration; and by what means such reductions have been achieved.

Between September 1976 and September 1977 the total number of administrative and clerical staff employed in the NHS in England is estimated to have increased slightly from 98,507 to about 99,000—provisional—while the number of medical staff engaged on administrative duties fell from 765 to 685. Comparable figures are not yet available for administrative nursing staff. Precise staffing figures are not yet available for 1978: but the overall proportion of total expenditure devoted to management dropped from 5·7 per cent. in 1976 to 5·3 per cent. in 1978 and there has been a reduction of over 2,700 management posts during that period.Indications are that this reduction has been made possible by a streamlining of the management process, and by the diversion of resources towards direct administrative support for patient care; and that it has been achieved by natural wastage and redeployment, without redundancies.