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Volume 455: debated on Tuesday 16 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total average annual cost is of employing a nurse; and what it was in 1997. (108082)

The hospital and community health services (HCHS) pay bill per head (FTE) for employing a qualified nurse in 1997-98 and 2004-05 which is the latest available year was:







1. Figures cover all staff and salary costs, including employers’ NI and pension contributions.

2. Pay bill per head (FTE) is derived using full-time equivalent staff numbers. Pay bill figures include the “on-costs” of employment. On-costs are estimated using figures in financial returns (these are not broken down by staff group or grade).

3. 2004-05 figures include estimates for foundation trusts.

4. 2004-05 figures include £334 “other” provision, assumed to be for Agenda for Change.

5. Part of the increase between the two years is due to the transfer of responsibility for funding pensions indexation costs to NHS employers, under which employer pensions contributions rose from 7 per cent. to 14 per cent.


These costs are estimated on the basis of data from the national health service trust, primary care trust and strategic health authority financial returns and foundation trust annual reports, together with staff numbers (excluding the cost of agency staff) from the work force census.