Skip to main content

Armed Forces: Manpower

Volume 508: debated on Wednesday 7 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 25 February 2010, Official Report, column 674W, on armed forces: manpower, what the shortfall of (a) reservists and (b) regular (i) medical, (ii) nursing and (iii) paramedic staff was on 1 October in each year since 2002; and if he will make a statement. (322550)

The information requested is shown in the following tables for regular and reserve forces. To enable comparisons with past years using the data currently available, the total ‘requirement’ figures include ‘manning and training margins’ and the ‘manning’ figures include personnel who were both trained and in-training. Shortfalls have been addressed by a variety of means and they have never resulted in the Defence Medical Services being unable to meet their operational commitments. The standard of medical care provided to service patients remains extremely high as has been recognised by the House of Commons Defence Committee and the National Audit Office.

Regular forces

Requirement

Manning

Shortfall (percentage)

Data as of 1 October 2002

Doctors

1,060

918

13

Nurses

1,976

1,600

19

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

817

858

-51

Medical Allied Health Professionals

4,610

3,748

19

Total

8,463

7,124

16

Data as of 1 October 2003

Doctors

1,168

897

23

Nurses

2,015

1,735

14

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

845

875

-41

Medical Allied Health Professionals

4,542

4,101

10

Total

8,570

7,608

11

Data as of 1 October 2004

Doctors

1,199

998

17

Nurses

2,052

1,805

12

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

913

829

9

Medical Allied Health Professionals

5,255

3,846

27

Total

9,419

7,478

21

Data as of 1 October 2005

Doctors

1,155

1,037

10

Nurses

2,068

1,725

17

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

886

820

7

Medical Allied Health Professionals

5,108

4,084

20

Total

9,217

7,666

17

Data as of 1 October 2006

Doctors

911

Nurses

1,758

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

790

Medical Allied Health Professionals

4,029

Total

7,488

Data as of 1 October 2007

Doctors

1,132

1,050

7

Nurses

1,889

1,745

8

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

992

788

21

Medical Allied Health Professionals

4,286

4,221

2

Total

8,298

7,804

6

Data as of 1 October 2008

Doctors

1,137

1,113

2

Nurses

1,901

1,723

9

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

984

796

19

Medical Allied Health Professionals

4,276

4,267

0

Total

8,298

7,899

5

Data as of 1 October 2009

Doctors

1,137

1,076

5

Nurses

1,901

1,677

12

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

984

774

21

Medical Allied Health Professionals

4,276

4,063

5

Total

8,298

7,590

9

1 Surplus

Notes:

1. Requirement figures include ‘manning and training margins’.

2. Manning data include personnel who are both trained and in-training.

3. Requirement data not available for October 2006 as these were being recast in a DMS-wide study at that date.

4. ‘Medical Allied Health professionals’ include the paramedics cadre.

Reserve forces (Army and Navy)

Requirement

Trained strength

Shortfall (percentage)

Data as of 1 October 2002

Medical officers

771

499

35

Nurses

2,343

1,337

43

Medical support services

2,017

1,592

21

Dental officers and allied dental healthcare professionals

128

57

55

Total

5,259

3,485

34

Data as of 1 October 2003

Medical officers

857

544

37

Nurses

2,487

1,390

44

Medical support services

2,357

1,456

38

Dental officers and allied dental healthcare professionals

128

55

57

Total

5,829

3,445

41

Data as of 1 October 2004

Medical officers

566

354

37

Nurses

2,114

1,076

49

Medical support services

1,640

1,154

30

Dental officers and allied dental healthcare professionals

128

52

59

Total

4,448

2,636

41

Data as of 1 October 2005

Medical officers

566

348

39

Nurses

2,105

1,024

51

Medical support services

1,388

1,077

22

Dental officers and allied dental healthcare professionals

128

50

61

Total

4,187

2,499

40

Data as of 1 October 2006

Medical officers

566

339

40

Nurses

2,105

973

54

Medical support services

1,300

1,032

21

Dental officers and allied dental healthcare professionals

40

25

38

Total

4,011

2,369

41

Data as of 1 October 2007

Medical officers

527

333

37

Nurses

2,053

815

60

Medical support services

1,300

887

32

Dental officers and allied dental healthcare professionals

40

16

60

Total

3,920

2,051

48

Data as of 1 October 2008

Medical officers

618

336

46

Nurses

1,400

883

37

Medical support services

1,100

960

13

Dental officers and allied dental healthcare professionals

27

18

33

Total

3,145

2,197

30

Data as of 1 October 2009

Medical officers

607

326

46

Nurses

1,440

813

44

Medical support services

1,104

882

20

Dental officers and allied dental healthcare professionals

27

16

41

Total

3,178

2,037

36

Notes:

1. ‘Dental officers and allied dental healthcare professionals’ include dental practitioners, dental support officers, dental surgery assistants and dental technicians.

2. ‘Medical Support Services’ include the paramedic cadre.

3. Data is only available in this form over this period for RN and Army Reservists.

Royal Auxiliary Air Force (RAuxAF)

Requirement

Trained strength

Shortfall (percentage)

Data as of 1 October 2002

Total (all specialties)

225

154

32

Data as of 1 October 2003

Total (all specialties)

227

149

34

Data as of 1 October 2004

Total (all specialties)

229

133

42

Data as of 1 October 2005

Total (all specialties)

229

112

51

Data as of 1 October 2006

Total (all specialties)

229

98

57

Data as of 1 October 2007

Total (all specialties)

227

93

59

Data as of 1 October 2008

Total (all specialties)

227

95

58

Data as of 1 October 2009

Medical officers

33

12

64

Nurses

86

44

49

Medical Support Officers

6

4

33

Dental officers and allied dental healthcare professionals

109

62

43

Total

234

122

49

Notes:

1. In 2009, the data system for recording RAuxAF manpower statistics was revised to contain more detail, including the introduction of recording personnel by trade.

2. For pre-2009 statistics, a breakdown of total numbers by trade could only be provided through manual search of the Joint Personnel Administration database. This information could therefore only be obtained at disproportionate cost. For years prior to 2009 the total shortfall percentage is provided.