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Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many radiographers there are in the NHS; how many posts are vacant; and how many radiographers worked in the NHS in 1997;[114119](2) what plans he has to increase the number of radiographers in the NHS. [114120]

The Government is committed to increasing the number of radiographers employed in the National Health Service. The NHS Plan states that, by 2004, there will be an extra 6,500 more therapists and other health professionals employed in the NHS over 1999 levels, including radiographers. Between September 1997 and 2001, the number of diagnostic radiographers increased by 800, or 8 per cent., from 10,360 to 11,160 and therapeutic radiographers increased by 130, or 9 per cent., from 1,410 to 1,540.To further increase the future radiography workforce, we are substantially increasing the numbers of training places. Since 1997, there has been an overall 63 per cent. increase in radiography training commissions from 582 to 948 and these will be increased further as part of the NHS Plan commitment for an extra 4,450 more training places for therapists and other key professional staff by 2004.The Department of Health collects information on the number of vacancies that have lasted for three months or more in the NHS workforce vacancies survey. In March 2002, there were 530 diagnostic radiographer posts and 130 therapeutic radiographer posts vacant for three months or more.