The Spectator

Barometer | 28 June 2018

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Nursing numbers

Was there ever a time when the NHS wasn’t in crisis? According to a report by NHS Health Improvement in February 2016, the health service was then short of 15,000 nurses. A year later the Royal College of Nursing was claiming a shortfall of 24,000. But that is a lot less than the shortage of nurses reported in its early years. In December 1948, five months after the NHS was founded, it was reported by the government to be short of 48,000 nurses, 30 per cent of the number employed. The shortage meant that 53,000 beds were lying unused (a disproportionate number in women’s psychiatric care). In early 1949 the NHS recruited an extra 4,000 full-time and 2,250 part-time nurses. Yet an expansion in services meant the reported shortfall in nurses remained at 48,000.

Goal sprees

What happened to the last teams to score six or more goals in a World Cup match?

2014 Germany beat Brazil 7-1 in the semi final, and went on to win the World Cup.

2010 Portugal beat North Korea 7-0 in a group stage match but then lost 1-0 to Spain.

2006 Argentina beat Serbia-Montenegro 6-0 in a group match to reach the quarter finals.

2002 Germany beat Saudi Arabia 8-0 in a group game, and lost to Brazil in the final.

1998 Spain beat Bulgaria 6-1 but were eliminated from their group nonetheless.

1994 Russia beat Cameroon 6-1 in a group game but failed to make it out of the group.

In our defence

The Defence Select Committee called for the defence budget to be raised by

£17 billion a year, from just over 2 per cent of GDP to 3 per cent. Some £35.3 billion was spent on defence in 2016/17. How much was allocated to particular operations?

Wider Gulf




Deployed Military Activity Pool

(for unforeseen military activity)


Counter Daesh


Conflict stability and security fund

(various peace-keeping activities)


EU counter migrant-smuggling ops


Booming and shrinking

Which industries performed best in the three months to April and which worst?


Coal and lignite


Crude petroleum and natural gas


Computer, electronic and

optical equipment



Electrical equipment


Waste treatment/disposal


Textiles and leather