§ Mr. Andrew Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were treated in hospitals by the national health service in 1971 and 1990.
§ Mr. Dorrell
In the year ending March 1989, national health service hospitals in England treated 6.56 million in-patient cases, an increase of 27 per cent. on the 1971 figure of 5.17 million. Since 1988–89 in-patient activity has been measured in terms of finished consultant episodes which contain figures for "well babies" in hospital following the mother's confinement. Finished consultant episodes have risen by nearly 2 per cent. from 7.34 million in 1988–89 to 7.48 million in 1989–90.