asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many consultant posts in the National Health Service are standing vacant at the latest date for which figures are available giving the number of such posts which have been vacant for over one year and similar information for the year 1975.
Information is given below about medical and dental consultant posts in National Health Service hospitals in England and Wales which were not occupied by a permanent holder on 30 September 1978 and 1975.disabled people over 65 years who are unable to receive a mobility allowance.
I am advised that it would not be necessary to amend that section to confer such a power on local authorities. If there were an expressed demand by authorities to assume it, I would need to consider whether it should be added to the list of approved arrangements under section 29(1) listed in local authority circular 13/74 of 11 February 1979. But the present financial climate rules this out in practice.