Briefing

Teeling Smith, G.

Briefing
November 1981

There have been substantial increases in all categories of professional manpower in the National Health Service since it was first established in 1949. This Briefing examines and discusses the trends for doctors, nurses and midwives. The data it presents relate mainly to England, but similar trends apply to Great Britain as a whole. The discussion draws attention to the balance in professional manpower between hospitals and the domiciliary services.

Wells, N.

Briefing
September 1981

During the last 30 years the proportion of deaths occurring in childhood caused by accidents has risen from 21 to 30 per cent. This development is not, however, as disturbing as it might initially appear for it is more a reflection of the elimination of infectious diseases from childhood mortality patterns than an indication of trends in accidental fatalities. Over this period the latter have fallen, both in volume terms and as rates per million population aged 1-14 years, by between 40 and 50 per cent.

Wells, N.

Briefing
August 1981

Absence from work stems from a variety of sources including industrial action, lateness and ill-health. Of these the latter is by far the most significant cause of lost working time: in 1978/79 there were 371 million days of absence due to certified incapacity, contrasting sharply with the contemporaneous loss of just over 15 million days arising from industrial injuries or prescribed diseases and the 9.4 million working days absorbed by industrial stoppages in the calendar year 1978.

Taylor, D.

Briefing
July 1981

Following a proposal originally made by the representative of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, the General Assembly of the United Nations decided late in 1976 that 1981 should be proclaimed the International Year of the Disabled Persons (IYDP). The UN’s intended aims for the year to include increasing global awareness of the abilities and the needs of disabled people; encouraging their fuller integration into their communities; improving preventative services; and stimulating ‘more positive’ attitudes generally.

Briefing
December 1980

The annual number of NHS prescriptions dispensed by chemist and appliance contractors in the United Kingdom is falling after a seven year period of expansion. As Figure 1 shows, the overall total grew between 1972 and 1978 at an annual average rate of 3 per cent (approximately 9 million prescriptions). It peaked in 1978 at 378 million. This figure, which represented a net gain of 154 million prescriptions or 69 per cent over 1949, was the highest in NHS history.

Teeling Smith, G.

Briefing
November 1980

The risks from untreated high blood pressure at even mildly elevated levels are well documented in quantitative terms. American insurance companies have since the interwar years required a blood pressure reading from their prospective clients, and figures derived from their analysis of mortality rates according to initial blood pressure, based on a single reading, are shown in Table 1 (Society of Actuaries 1959).

Briefing
May 1981

In Europe, as in other developed countries, health expenditures have recently been rising proportionately faster than national wealth. Between 1960 and 1978 the percentage of gross national product spent on health care in the European Community rose from about 4.1 per cent to 7.3 per cent.

Laing, W.

Briefing
April 1980

The United Kingdom’s performance in the treatment of End Stage Renal Failure reflects, in microcosm, many of the strengths and weaknesses of the National Health Service. On the one hand, UK practice is almost certainly more cost-effective than that of any other country. It has been achieved in this instance by concentration on transplantation and on home rather than hospital dialysis. On the other hand, because of lack of resources, facilities for the most expensive modes of treatment are in considerably shorter supply than in comparable countries.

Briefing
December 1979

This OHE Briefing illustrates some of the difficulties inherent in making accurate international and international comparisons with regard to perinatal mortality, the most sensitive widely collected measure of fetal and maternal wellbeing. It also discusses some of the phenomena which cause, or are closely associated with, danger to life and/or health before and shortly after birth.

Briefing
September 1979

In the richer nations of Europe and North America the gaining of control over the common infectious illnesses was a long, gradual process. It was initiated by improvements in the diet available to the mass of the people, coupled with public health measures like the provision of clean water supplies and adequate sanitation. Subsequently the attack was driven home by advances in both curative and preventive medicine. Amongst the most significant of these were the development of effective and safe immunising techniques.

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