asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to counter the effects that unfilled consultant posts have on patient care, particularly in some specialties in certain unpopular areas of the United Kingdom.
I see no reason for further steps. Our proposals to improve patient care by expansion of the consultant grade were set out in Cmnd. 8479. In specialties where there is a shortage of suitable experienced applicants for consultant posts health authorities have been encouraged to create additional training grade posts. Our system of allocation of posts in shortage specialties gives preference to regions with the lowest ratio of doctors in the specialty to population.