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Hospital Beds

Volume 82: debated on Monday 1 July 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, for each of the years 1973 to 1984, he will provide such information as is available to his Department centrally as to the numbers of hospital beds in National Health Service hospitals in England in acute specialties, and in geriatrics, mental illness, mental handicap, and maternity (general practitioner and consultant obstetrics), and the total for all specialties, which were (a) closed as a result of the closure of complete hospitals, (b) closed in hospitals which were not completely closed, (c) provided as a result of opening new hospitals, and (d) provided in additions or modifications to existing hospitals.

We are quite unable to answer a question which requests a huge quantity of information broken down into considerable detail over a long period of years. The majority of the information requested is either not available centrally or could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, for each of the years 1973 to 1984, he will provide such information as is available to his Department centrally, as to the numbers of hospital beds in each National Health Service region in England, also boards of governors hospitals from 1973 to 1981 and special health authorities from 1982 onwards, which were (a) closed as a result of the closure of complete hospitals, (b) closed in hospitals which were not completely closed, (c) provided as a result of opening new hospitals and (d) provided in additions or modifications to existing hospitals.

I see little sensible use for this information which, as I have pointed out to the hon. Member in answering previous questions, provides no worthwhile measure of activity in the National Health Service. However, information we have centrally is as follows.a.

Hospitals approved for complete closure — number of beds involved.

  • i. 1973 Information not available.
  • ii. 1974–79 Only the totals for England are given; figures for individual regions are not available. Totals include beds in hospitals approved for only partial closure, for which separate information is not available.
  • Number of beds

    19742,426
    19751,977
    19761,801
    19773,908
    19784,895
    19791,987

    (c) and (d) Number of beds provided in major new schemes

    Region

    1974

    1975

    1976

    1977

    1978

    1979

    1980

    1981

    1982

    1983

    1984

    Northern1,054334382
    Yorkshire340480763826112
    Trent1,4881,1651,003
    East Anglian481248535
    North West Thames793368
    North East Thames873293286

    Number of beds

    iii. 1980–84

    Regional Health Authority

    1980

    1981

    1982

    1983

    1984

    Northern22142422564
    Yorkshire34282500279
    Trent26428442324547
    East Anglian5010291320
    North West Thames15562377225
    North East Thames240524156383504
    South East Thames25848240
    South West Thames77857252237
    Wessex462207980
    Oxford30144238
    South Western1983139037
    West Midlands3256244165856
    Mersey10830642132714
    North Western26022108194136
    Boards of Governors/Special Health Authorities42

    Notes:

    1. Temporary closures are not included.

    2. Dates on which closures are implemented are not recorded centrally.

    b. Partial hospital closures — number of beds approved for closure.

    i. 1973 Information not available.

    ii. 1974–79 Figures for partial closures are not available. Numbers are included within figures at paragraph ii. of part a. of this answer.

    iii. 1980–84

    Regional Health Authority

    1980

    1981

    1982

    1983

    1984

    Northern886
    Yorkshire1087048
    Trent22172122
    East Anglian32
    North West Thames71872840256
    North East Thames138012
    South East Thames203931
    South West Thames
    Wessex2918
    Oxford56
    South Western7
    West Midlands44262213
    Mersey10391145
    North Western
    Boards of Governors/Special Health Authorities

    Notes:

    1. Temporary closures are not included.

    2. Dates on which closures are implemented are not recorded centrally.

    Region

    1974

    1975

    1976

    1977

    1978

    1979

    1980

    1981

    1982

    1983

    1984

    South East Thames222630391570
    South West Thames365312554
    Wessex435482218521
    Oxford484265
    South Western14355
    West Midlands224297414
    Mersey8201,007160208232
    North Western70083
    Boards of Governors/SHAs

    Notes:

    * Information is available only for major new schemes, which include both new hospitals and additions to existing ones.

    † " From 1974–78 major schemes were those costing in excess of £2 million; from 1979–84 those in excess of £5 million.
    ‡ Information on beds provided in minor schemes is not available centrally.
    ≑ Information for 1973 is not available centrally.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, for each of the years 1973 to 1984, he will provide such information as is available to his Department centrally, as to the average numbers of beds available daily in each National Health Service region in England, boards of governors' hospitals also, from 1973 to 1981, and special health authorities from 1982 onwards, in acute

    Average daily number of available beds in NHS hospitals in England—Acute*
    Region†19731974†19751976197719781979198019811982†1983
    Northern11,31011,34511,15611,10010,84710,67610,50910,63810,38910,24310,281
    Yorkshire11,35112,78512,57812,26412,16412,03211,85511,79411,72911,64011,593
    Trent12,95012,11012,11812,27012,22212,29812,19712,02811,94011,78311,728
    East Anglian4,9634,9414,9675,1385,2085,2575,2765,3655,2685,2305,286
    North West Thames17,08312,79412,65112,48312,06111,56811,28810,71110,6739,9009,728
    North East Thames13,04215,41215,16115,01614,48014,03613,50112,99612,90313,85113,465
    South East Thames13,42513,63813,26713,28313,01112,27212,08311,71511,45911,30711,217
    South West Thames13,2939,4219,1119,0688,7708,5068,3477,9657,8377,5607,532
    Wessex5,6327,7947,7357,7687,7287,6857,6007,5537,5387,4527,386
    Oxford5,8286,4026,3276,3356,2046,0735,9765,8275,8255,8515,791
    South Western10,5599,2529,3049,1569,0528,9938,8728,8938,9498,9228,849
    West Midlands15,32215,11814,79614,90914,90714,69314,49114,53314,56014,40914,289
    Mersey9,51710,0489,7619,5729,3209,0878,7228,4608,2767,8907,586
    North Western15,48714,31214,05014,02813,96513,83413,46713,44313,30013,18113,068
    Special Health Authorities and Boards of Governors3,6473,0653,0133,0303,0022,9012,8612,8002,8212,6242,583
    Total158,712158,437155,995155,420152,941149,914147,044144,721143,467141,842140,381
    Average daily number of available beds in NHS hospitals in England—Geriatrics
    Region†19731974†19751976197719781979198019811982†1983
    Northern3,5563,9323,8913,8873,8253,8373,7333,7273,6753,8093,885
    Yorkshire5,1245,6135,5535,4205,4665,4045,3075,2595,2055,0895,041
    Trent5,4695,0685,1155,1015,0925,1725,0555,0535,1535,2045,229
    East Anglian2,3322,2262,2192,3922,3212,2942,3182,3402,3512,3722,417
    North West Thames3,5003,1303,1733,1833,2373,2503,2343,3483,4223,3663,329
    North East Thames3,9124,3014,3844,5184,4844,4524,4444,4164,4294,5554,574
    South East Thames4,3814,3434,3504,3724,3894,3674,2844,2474,2084,2374,233
    South West Thames3,5083,1393,2093,0933,2513,2203,0873,0143,0373,0643,034
    Wessex2,5663,6233,6023,6063,5653,5423,5283,5363,5343,5433,510
    Oxford2,4072,2232,1802,1582,1752,1322,0852,0702,0552,0272,006
    South Western4,7573,8473,8683,8513,8603,8583,7453,6963,7393,7713,848
    West Midlands6,1605,8745,9136,0696,2116,2306,2166,1816,1826,2566,230
    Mersey2,5003,0202,9953,1143,1493,2633,2113,1013,0733,1363,171
    North Western6,0215,0745,1064,9854,9054,9634,8904,9575,0175,1355,193
    Special Health Authorities and Boards of Governors130000000080102
    Total56,18455,41355,55855,74955,93055,98655,13954,94755,08255,64655,801

    specialties, geriatrics, mental illness, mental handicap and maternity (general practitioner and consultant obstetrics) and the total for all specialties.

    The available information is given in the tables. 1984 figures are not yet available. The total number of in-patient cases rose by 17 per cent. from 5,132,000 in 1973 to 6,019,000 in 1983 and the average annual number of in-patient cases treated per available bed increased by 38 per cent. from 12·7 to 17·5.

    Average daily number of available beds in NHS hospitals in England—Mental illness‡

    Region†

    1973

    1974†

    1975

    1976

    1977

    1978

    1979

    1980

    1981

    1982†

    1983

    Northern7,1576,9996,9256,6336,3476,1586,1446,0546,0115,9365,900
    Yorkshire8,4018,1458,1778,1837,9777,8797,5877,1397,0426,8996,642
    Trent8,8077,9877,8127,7057,6807,5897,5827,7847,2957,2327,169
    East Anglian3,6363,4943,3753,3393,2663,1993,0923,0103,0562,9592,987
    North West Thames9,07310,1809,5929,3138,6508,3838,0217,8017,6227,4607,275
    North East Thames6,7797,7637,4067,3547,3367,2226,9316,8746,6896,6826,453
    South East Thames7,3637,5348,3887,9097,6387,3137,1156,9346,8616,6346,473
    South West Thames16,35610,9759,2938,8498,4897,9327,6197,3957,0546,6946,585
    Wessex5,3406,0405,1174,8814,7514,4734,3444,2224,1484,1024,036
    Oxford3,4773,4592,9892,9372,6902,5942,6082,5342,4452,3742,306
    South Western8,7887,1216,5036,2605,9985,8615,7345,6955,5065,3465,095
    West Midlands10,49310,2099,5619,2228,9088,9158,7538,4998,2368,1127,823
    Mersey6,0777,0217,0036,9126,7456,7626,5196,3166,3226,2005,903
    North Western8,6247,0866,8186,7736,6136,4436,5926,7086,7096,7596,698
    Special Health Authorities and Boards of Governors408403412418411409402431439442442
    Total109,650104,41699,37196,68893,49991,12989,04537,39685,43683,83181,786

    Average daily number of available beds in NHS hospitals in England—Mental handicap

    Region†

    1973

    1974†

    1975

    1976

    1977

    1978

    1979

    1980

    1981

    1982†

    1983

    Northern3,6763,6983,6753,6183,5633,4883,3363,3263,2263,1603,138
    Yorkshire3,7043,7463,6043,5543,5273,5063,4823,4323,3213,2033,116
    Trent4,9654,9894,9795,0785,0865,0004,8784,7034,6094,5204,382
    East Anglian1,7021,6891,7011,7351,6671,6311,6261,6021,5981,5971,570
    North West Thames5,3574,5904,4464,3384,2094,1403,9623,9043,8843,8353,742
    North East Thames3,3373,2183,0792,9752,8822,8122,8182,6842,6462,5042,513
    South East Thames3,9653,9183,7713,5623,5093,4953,4153,3183,2253,1983,021
    South West Thames6,4996,6056,5746,5476,4286,2476,0955,9475,8115,7065,596
    Wessex1,9712,5462,4962,4102,4122,4362,4512,4532,4002,3932,338
    Oxford2,2372,1342,1242,1222,1002,0462,0091,9941,9301,8781,782
    South Western5,7935,6995,4105,1245,0124,9194,8554,7054,7014,5704,446
    West Midlands5,5615,2685,1745,0334,9644,7824,6004,3944,3114,2754,076
    Mersey1,5482,6152,6042,5832,5712,5372,5042,4242,3572,3212,210
    North Western5,8154,4474,5024,4134,3314,2354,0723,9703,8593,8153,695
    Special Health Authorities and Board of Governors242424242020178888
    Total56,13055,18654,16353,11652,28151,29550,12248,86347,88846,98345,631

    Average daily number of available beds in NHS hospitals in England—Maternity≑

    Region†

    1973

    1974†

    1975

    1976

    1977

    1978

    1979

    1980

    1981

    1982†

    1983

    Northern1,5381,5611,5121,4891,4081,3221,3211,2851,8721,2801,276
    Yorkshire1,5881,7851,7451,6921,6081,5441,5361,5311,5221,5141,489
    Trent2,1612,0692,0461,9731,9071,8611,7981,7471,7441,7641,735
    East Anglian782779777781766754749732726718704
    North West Thames1,9911,6271,5581,4551,3641,3551,3351,2871,2771,2081,181
    North East Thames1,5561,8621,8371,8191,7121,6461,6011,5811,5441,5641,589
    South East Thames1,5721,6031,5631,4821,3951,3631,3471,3421,3041,2831,259
    South West Thames1,5801,2701,2761,1931,1161,0541,0331,0341,013950932
    Wessex9051,2331,1751,1851,1601,1171,6771,0581,0211,0241,005
    Oxford9651,008977951905881869879874863813
    South Western1,5191,2771,2761,2151,1621,1321,1161,1221,1131,1171,087
    West Midlands2,3522,3222,3032,2692,1282,0862,0252,0081,9802,0021,955
    Mersey1,1151,2281,2061,1791,1321,056982979949924931
    North Western2,1831,9081,8681,8411,8361,7641,7121,6831,6951,7031,650
    Special Health Authorities and Boards of Governors219138138135136140138137139192192
    Total21,80421,67021,25720,65919,73519,07518,64018,40618,17618,10817,799

    Average daily number of available beds in NHS hospitals in England—All specialties

    Region†

    1973

    1974†

    1975

    1976

    1977

    1978

    1979

    1980

    1981

    1982†

    1983

    Northern27,23727,75227,40926,99226,25425,74625,30525,28324,82524,67924,728
    Yorkshire30,16832,11731,71431,24630,89030,53929,94629,29828,95928,48828,034
    Trent33,63232,30732,17532,29232,18732,12231,71231,51630,94430,74430,481
    East Anglian13,41513,14213,05213,39813,24113,15613,09413,08813,03812,91413,001
    North West Thames37,00432,37731,47430,82629,57528,75227,90427,11626,94725,85225,342
    North East Thames28,62632,67932,00431,83031,04030,31129,44328,70328,35729,29828,741
    South East Thames30,70631,14031,47430,75030,09229,18828,40827,71927,21726,81626,356

    Region†

    1973

    1974†

    1975

    1976

    1977

    1978

    1979

    1980

    1981

    1982†

    1983

    South West Thames41,22831,51529,55328,81628,11527,02026,24225,41624,79924,02123,719
    Wessex16,41421,25820,14619,86919,63419,27119,02118,84418,66218,54618,310
    Oxford14,91415,29614,66814,61314,18413,83613,66413,42213,24713,11312,817
    South Western31,41627,25926,46725,71925,19024,89224,45624,24524,14323,86123,459
    West Midlands39,88838,97437,95237,71537,31036,88936,26335,78235,43735,22834,544
    Mersey20,75723,96223,61323,40622,96422,73221,98121,33121,02520,51919,848
    North Western38,12132,82732,34432,05331,68131,31030,81130,83930,66230,67730,384
    Special Health Authorities and Boards of Governors4,3113,6303,5873,6073,5693,4703,4193,3763,4073,3463,327
    Total403,526396,235387,632383,132375,926369,235361,670355,979351,669348,104343,091

    * "Acute" is defined as all specialties except geriatrics, younger disabled, GP maternity, obstetrics, mental handicap and mental illness.

    † Figures prior to 1974 relate to regional hospital boards and thereafter to regional health authorities. Because of NHS restructuring in 1974 and 1982 the regional figures are not strictly comparable over the whole period.
    ‡ Includes all mental illness specialties.
    ≑ Includes GP maternity and obstetrics.