Skip to main content

Cancer Services

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to tackle the shortage of radiologists needed for breast cancer screening. [108297]

Consultant numbers in the radiology group have risen by 14.3 per cent., from 1,473 in September 1997 to 1,683 in 2001. In 2003–04, central funding is available to support the implementation of 78 additional training posts in clinical radiology. This will support further increases in consultant numbers. In addition, the Department's global recruitment campaign and the International Fellowship Scheme have encouraged consultants, including radiologists, to apply for work in the National Health Service.Action to address shortfalls not only includes increasing numbers in training but also modernising roles and developing new ways of working for doctors alongside other staff.A specific component of the current skill mix projects in radiography is developing the role of the radiographer into both advanced and (non medical) consultant practice.These new and innovative ways of working have been tried, tested and evaluated in breast screening and are now being implemented across the service. In addition to the advanced radiographer roles, a new grade of assistant practitioner, who will also undertake some of the tasks currently carried out by radiographers, will be introduced, providing them with the capacity to develop and enhance their role.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Government have achieved their targets in increasing the numbers of (a) diagnostic radiographers, (b) therapeutic radiographers and (c) radiologists as set out in the Cancer Plan.[108299]

The Cancer Plan set targets for diagnostic radiographers to increase by 4 per cent., therapeutic radiographers to increase by 16 per cent., and consultants in radiology to increase by 17 per cent., by 2006 over 1999 levels.The Government has made significant progress towards these targets. As at September 2001, there were 11,160 diagnostic radiographers and 1,540 therapeutic radiographers employed in the National Health Service, increases of 3 per cent., or 320 and 3 per cent., or 50, respectively since the baseline. As at March 2002, there were 1,680 consultants in radiology, an increase of 11 per cent., or 173, since the 1999 Cancer Plan baseline.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether there is a teenage cancer unit in the Solihull constituency.[108528]

There is no teenage cancer unit in Solihull. Teenage and other cancer sufferers are likely to be referred to either the University Hospitals

Birmingham National Health Service Trust or the Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Trust, the providers of specialist cancer services for the area.