The supply of nursing staff to the National Health Service : an aspect of manpower planning
The thesis considers the characteristics of the nursing labour market in which the National Health Service operated from 1948 until I983 and presents econometric estimates of the supply functions of nursing staff. The monopsony of the central government in the market for nurses permits it to depress the pay of nurses. Together with the peculiar budgeting system of the N.H.S., this resulted in a 'shortage' of nurses, in the economic sense of excess demand, from 1948 until 1976, when the market became demand constrained Until 1976, the number of nurses employed was determined by supply. This permits the observed number of nurses employed by the N.H.S. until I976 to be treated as observations on a supply function. The time series of observations until I976 is used to estimate supply functions for six different groups of nursing staff employed in non-psychiatric hospitals in England and wales. These groups are: whole-time and part-time Registered Nurses: whole-time and part-time Enrolled Nurses: whole-time and part-time Nursing Auxiliaries, These six groups are distinct in their response to pay and other factors affecting nurse labour supply. Separate consideration is given to nurse training. Entry to student and pupil nurse training is considered separately. Econometric estimates of the impact of pay, unemployment and the number of young women in the population on entry to nurse training are presented. There are sections devoted to the problem of withdrawal during training. A separate study of midwifery staff uses data which is seldom available to estimate the impact of pay and other factors on the survivor function. The thesis concludes by considering the impact of changing the pay negotiating procedures of the N.H.S. on its cost.