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National Health Service

Volume 22: debated on Tuesday 20 April 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what savings in manpower are expected to result from the restructuring of the National Health Service on 1 April.

One of the chief objectives of the reorganisation of the National Health Service is to streamline administration and increase the resources devoted to direct patient care. Accordingly the Government are committed to reducing the cost of managing the service from 5·14 per cent. of health authorities' resources to 4·62 per cent. by the end of 1984–85. Over 200 top posts have already been abolished.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the ratio of nursing staff to administrative staff in the National Health Service (a) as a whole and (b) in the West Midlands region in the years 1970, 1975 and 1981.

The following table gives the comparison for nursing and midwifery staff and administrative and clerical staff.The earliest year for which comparable figures for individual staff groups is available is 1971. All figures for 1981 are provisional. The table includes figures for 1976 as those for 1975 are not wholly reliable owing to the effects of reorganisation.


* Following NHS reorganisation on 1 April 1974, staff previously employed by local authority health departments were transferred to area health authorities. The all-England figures for 1971 have, as far as possible, been corrected for this, but a direct comparison with the figures for the other three years is unreliable. It is not possible to provide corrected figures for individual regions.

† Includes agency nurses and midwives and health visitor students.