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Orthopaedic Surgeons

Volume 229: debated on Friday 23 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information she has as to the ratios of specialist orthopaedic surgeon to head of population in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) all other EC countries.

The available information is shown in the table. Information relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Wales and Scotland and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Equivalent information for other European Community countries is not available.

Hospital Orthopaedic surgeons England-—30 September 1991
Specialty: orthopaedic surgeryPopulation in '000s per doctor
Consultants77661·83
All doctors in Orthopaedic surgery (including consultants)2,52918·97

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals she has for increasing the number of specialist orthopaedic surgeons.

We encourage an overall expansion of consultant numbers in order to improve patient care and this has included local central funding for the new deal and part-time consultant initiatives. The number of consultants appointed depends on the number of suitably qualified senior registrars available to fill the posts. In February this year the joint planning advisory committee accepted the trauma and orthopaedic specialty's advice on likely consultant opportunities and increased the quota for senior registrars from 181 to 210 posts. Consultant staffing in individual hospitals is a matter for local employing bodies, and they should have regard to competing priorities and available resources when assessing local staffing needs. Copies of the "Junior Doctors the New Deal" are available in the Library.