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Mentally Handicapped People

Volume 124: debated on Thursday 17 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the number of people employed in the care of mentally handicapped people by area health authorities in each year since 1979; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 1 December 1987]: The number of doctors and nursing staff (excluding agency staff) in post in mental handicap areas of work at 30 September in England are as follows. Details of other staff employed in the care of mentally handicapped people are not available.

Whole-time equivalent1
YearTotal2
197926,300
198027,400
198130,400
198230,500
198330,500
198431,000
198532,200
198633,000
Source: DHSS Annual censuses of NHS medical and non-medical manpower.
Notes: Figures for nursing staff for 1979 and 1980 have been estimated, since figures are not available by area of work on an exactly consistent basis with those for later years. Figures have not been adjusted for the change in nurses' working hours during 1980–81 (from 40 to 37·5 hours per

patients are treated and seen in Chester district premises annually, expressed by percentage and number for each of the years since 1980; and if he will make a statement.

As the allocation of resources to the Chester health authority is the responsibility of the Mersey regional health authority, the hon. Member may wish to contact the regional chairman for information about the funding of Chester's short-term programme.The information the hon. Member seeks about ward closures in Chester in the current financial year and with regard to the appointment of a consultant urologist is not available centrally. As the Chester health authority is responsible for the management and development of local hospital services, the hon. Member may wish to contact the district chairman on these issues.Centrally held information on Clwyd residents treated in Chester hospitals is based on the results of the non-maternity hospital in-patient inquiry and given in the following table. 1985 is the latest available year; figures prior to 1982 are not comparable due to reorganisation of the NHS.

week).
1 Figures are rounded to nearest one hundred (100) whole-time equivalents.
2 Includes all permanent paid, honorary and locum medical staff.
The figures shown cover health authority staff working in hospitals and in the community. For example, there were 230 whole-time equivalent community mental handicap nurses in 1981 (the first year in which they were separately identified) and 1,100 in 1986. The number of residents in National Health Service mental handicap hospitals and community units was 45,600 in 1979 and 34,200 in 1986.