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National Health Service (Manpower Control)

Volume 33: debated on Tuesday 30 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how he intends to achieve manpower control in the National Health Service.

Several new measures have been brought into operation over the last 12 months. I have introduced up-to-date quarterly returns of manpower figures from the National Health Service and have required regional health authorities to provide manpower estimates for 31 March 1983 and projections of manpower in each major staff group for 31 March 1984 derived from district health authorities' service plans for 1983–84. These projections will be used as a basis for agreement on manpower targets for each region for each major staff group for March 1984.The use of manpower and its planning and control will also be followed up in the annual accountability reviews which I have introduced between Ministers and each of the regions. Where manpower control is identified as a problem, an action plan will be agreed and the region concerned asked to report on progress within 12 months at the latest.I announced in October that we intend to establish a management enquiry into National Health Service manpower. This will look at the levels of and use made of National Health Service manpower. The team's composition and terms of reference are still under discussion and we shall make a further announcement in due course.