During business questions on Thursday 9 March, in response to a request for a debate on the conduct and management of the NHS from the right hon. Member for Fylde (Mr. Jack), the then Leader of the House, my right hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Hoon) said,
“The right hon. Gentleman is usually a fair-minded person when it comes to establishing the facts, and I am sure that in the interests of his reputation he would want to add that in Fylde there are 5,400 more nurses, 543 more doctors and 142 more consultants. That is a remarkable record, and one on which I know, if he had a little more opportunity, he would want to congratulate the Government. Having a debate about the astonishing improvement in the health service under this Government is not something that the Government fear at all. We have had a number of debates on the question.
On health service deficits, I have set out the figures before; a tiny number of NHS organisations are responsible for an overwhelming proportion of those deficits. [Interruption.] Right hon. and hon. Members are shaking their heads and groaning, but these are the facts. The truth is that a small number of organisations are involved. I thought that the Conservative party was concerned with financial propriety and with ensuring that organisations balance their books. That is precisely what the Government are trying to do in the health service”. [ 9 March 2006, Official Report, c. 953.]
My right hon. Friend for Ashfield has, however, asked me to say that whilst the three figures above were given by him in good faith, he regrets that they were not accurate. I have apologised to the Member for this error and have assured him that the Department of Health have been asked to rigorously check data provided for the weekly business statement.
The correct numbers for both the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals NHS Trust and the Cumbria and Lancashire Strategic Health Authority (SHA) according to the September 2005 workforce census data published by the Department of Health on 24 April 2006 are as follows:
2002 2005 Increase Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals NHS Trust Nurses 1,497 1,530 33 Consultants 108 111 3 Doctors 163 217 54 Cumbria and Lancashire SHA Nurses 12,661 14,901 2,240 Consultants 715 895 180 Doctors 889 1,275 386
Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals NHS Trust
Cumbria and Lancashire SHA
Local NHS workforce data is published on the Department of Health website at: http://www. dh.gov.uk/nhsfactsheets.
I should add that information given during business questions in response to constituency health issues usually relates to health trusts, PCT area, or to the area of a strategic health authority.