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Nurses

Volume 124: debated on Thursday 17 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many nurses have undertaken advanced training courses which lead to specialisation in fields such as intensive care in each of the last 10 years.

I regret that information is not available in the form requested prior to 1985. The numbers of registered nurses entering selected specialised post-basic training courses since 1985 are as follows:

Number of nurses entering selected post-basic training courses Year ending 31 March: England
198519861987
General intensive care649436502
Coronary care716061
Renal care134132140
Operating department nursing353272249
Special intensive care of the newborn287278393

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many nurses were in training in each of the past 10 years.

I regret that the information is not available in the form requested. However, the number of nurses commencing basic nurse training in each of the past 10 years is as follows:

Intake of students and pupils to basic nurse training year ending 31 March: England
StudentsPupilsTotal
197818,20011,21029,410
197922,60012,77035,370
198020,54012,08032,620
198119,63011,29030,920
198220,20011,60031,800
198318,95010,89029,840
198417,6707,30024,970
198519,2106,32025,530
198618,6005,10023,700
198718,4304,39022,820

Notes:

(1) Actual figures for England are not available prior to 1984. Figures are therefore assumed to be 95 per cent. of those for England and Wales.

(2) Figures are rounded to nearest 10.

(3) The decline in the number of pupils undertaking enrolled nurse training is partly due to the uncertainty about the future of such training, whose cessation has been proposed by the UKCC in Project 2000.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what financial incentives exist to encourage nurses to undertake more advanced nursing training which leads to specialisation in such fields as intensive care.

Currently there are specific financial incentives though post-basic training and expertise may improve prospects of promotion. Recently, the Nursing and Midwifery Staffs Negotiating Council has reached agreement on new grading definitions for nursing and midwifery staff designed to recognise and reward clinical skills appropriately.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many nurses left the National Health Service other than at retirement age in each of the last five years;(2) what is the average number of years worked by nurses in the National Health Service.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total level of expenditure on pay for nurses, in cash and constant 1986–87 prices, in each year since 1973.

Following is the information requested derived from the annual accounts of health authorities in England and for 1973–74, those of their predecessor hospital authorities:

National Health Service staff salaries and wages: Nurses and midwives
Per annual accounts £ millionAt 1986–87 prices £ million
1973–744161,732
1974–757442,596
1975–769652,679
1976–771,1122,728
1977–781,2062,597
1978–791,3542,634
1979–801,6492,745
1980–812,2943,221
1981–822,5113,211
1982–832,7133,236
1983–842,8283,225
1984–853,0343,314
1985–863,2103,307
1986–873,4953,495

Notes:

1. The figures for the earlier years have been expressed at 1986–87 prices by the use of the Gross Domestic Product deflator.

2. The figures for 1973–74 are not comparable to those for later years as prior to National Health Service re-organisation (1 April 1974) responsibility for community health and ambulance services rested with local government authorities.

3. The figures for 1974–75 include an element of estimation being based on an incomplete return from health authorities.

4. Expenditure on non-National Health Service staff (agency, etc.) nurses and midwives is excluded.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what the levels of nursing staff were in (a) Sunderland district health authority, (b) Durham district health authority and (c) Hartlepool district health authority in the years 1982–83, 1983–84, 1984–85 and 1985–86.

NHS Nursing and midwifery staff in post

1

at 30 September of each year Whole time equivalent

2

District Health Authority

1982

1983

1984

1985

1985

Sunderland2,4902,5702,5202,5802,590
Durham1,1001,0901,1101,1601,160
Hartlepool790790780790840

Source: DHSS Annual census of NHS non-medical manpower.

1 Includes qualified nurses and midwives, learners and unqualified staff. Agency staff are also included.

2 Figures are independently rounded to nearest 10 whole-time equivalents.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has any plans to set up an inquiry into the health of nurses; what are the present arrangements for monitoring their health; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 16 December 1987]: It is for employing health authorities in discharging their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to promote, maintain and improve the health and well-being of all staff. Arrangements for the monitoring of staff health is a matter for individual authorities in the light of local circumstances.