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Departmental Staff

Volume 129: debated on Thursday 10 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many members of staff within his Department are located within each region outside London; what percentage this constitutes of staff within his Department; and what were the comparable figures, in absolute and percentage terms in 1979.

Using the boundaries of social security regions departmental staff were located on 1 January 1988 as follows:understand that in the last three financial years, the council's expenditure on research into meningitis and related illnesses has been as follows:

1984–851985–861986–87
£58,491£26,956£144,057
Figures for earlier years are not readily available.The council is to convene a meeting of experts to discuss promising lines for meningitis research which may lead to a specific commission from the Department.Other research in this field funded by the Department has been carried out by the Public Health Laboratory service board at its Manchester laboratory and the Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research, Porton Down. The cost of this cannot be separated from that of other research carried out by these laboratories.

The approximate value of commissions for research into meningitis and related illnesses placed directly by the Department since 1978–79 is:

1986–87

1987–88

£49,000£17,400

This work mainly relates to support for the Gloucester health authority's meningococcal survey in the Stonehouse area.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many cases of meningitis have been reported in the last 10 years; and of these how many were fatal.

Meningitis may be caused by many different organisms. The numbers of notifications of acute meningitis (all forms) and of meningococcal meningitis in England and Wales from 1978 to 1987 are shown in the table. I assume that the hon. Member is interested particularly in meningococcal meningitis, and the table also gives deaths from this cause.From the registration of the death, it is not possible to determine whether the case had been notified.

Number of (a) notifications of Acute Meningitis (all forms) and Meningococcal Meningitis, and (b) Deaths registered with Meningococcal Meningitis (ICD (8,9)1036.0) as underlying cause of death
Persons, all agesEngland and Wales 1978–1987
(a) Notifications(b) Deaths
YearAcute meningitisMeningococcal meningitisMeningococcal meningitis
19781,69850142
19791,42752532
19801,79650926
19811,39346428
19821,27241020
19831,22642820
19841,23040126
19851,53355036
19862,17287044
219872,5671,09028
National Health Service activity, England
YearDischarges and deathsNew out-patient attendancesTotal attendancesNumber of blood units issued1 2Total number of pathology tests3
19795,400,1207,713,46534,099,7251,705,19063,042,614
19805,670,0017,942,20735,242,9801,793,17266,098,610
19815,759,8778,024,67935,571,3841,836,67468,685,979
19825,719,6348,096,97735,651,2221,784,74970,897,520
19836,018,5858,310,94236,519,5501,829,98874,506,823
19846,177,5458,508,05237,042,7061,873,40277,270,773
19856,353,8128,682,12837,440,3331,843,56979,569,650
19866,413,7898,767,78837,727,6081,861,019481,535,721
Percentage change over previous year
per cent.per cent.per cent.per cent.per cent.
1980503·03·45·24·8
19811·61·00·92·43·9
1982-0·70·90·2-2·83·2
19835·22·62·42·55·1
19842·62·41·42·43·7
19852·92·01·1-1·63·0
19860·91·00·80·92·5
1 Total of whole and concentrated reduced units issued.
2 England immunology and nuclear medicine.
3 Includes immunology and nuclear medicine.
4 Provisional

1 International Classification of Diseases 8th and 9th revisions.

2 Provisional—The 1987 figure for the number of notifications of acute and meningococcal meningitis is provisional as it is based on the notifications reported to OPCS each week. It does not include all late or corrected notifications, and is therefore liable to a small change at a later date.

The annual figures for deaths should be compared with caution as

  • (i) a change in coding was introduced on 1 January 1984;
  • (ii) figures for 1986 and 1987 exclude deaths in the first 28 days of life.