The number of registered beds available in the private sector fell to 10,570 in the year to March 31, 1997, although the number of private hospitals and clinics remained static, according to year-on-year figures which were recently released by the Department of Health.
However, the number of nursing homes had increased to 5,560 in the same period, and provided 185,950 beds, an increase of four per cent on 1996.
But the figures also found that the percentage of beds occupied in nursing homes had fallen from 81% to 79% over the same period in a development which the Department of Health believed was continuing a “modest” downward trend.
But whole time equivalent nursing staff in nursing homes had increased by 3% to 127,280. And the Department said this rise in staffing levels was a further example of the growth trend that had been seen in recent years.
During the year, the overall umber of registered establishments in England had increased to 5,900, also continuing the growth of recent years.
The figures are part of a Department of Health bulletin Private hospitals, homes and clinics registered under Section 23 of the Registered Homes Act, England 1997,
which examines independent healthcare in England, covering provision in private hospitals, homes and clinics.
The data is based on returns submitted to the Department of Health by Health Authorities.
Nuffield Hospitals is to open a new hospital in Guildford at the end of this year as part of an expansion plan which included the acquisition of three others during 1997.