To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the (a) maximum and (b) average length of deployment is of TA consultants serving in the Defence Medical Service; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what the (a) maximum and (b) average length of deployment is of consultants serving in the Defence Medical Service; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 12 June 2003]: Currently, we aim to deploy consultants in the Defence Medical Services (DMS) for no more than three months in any 12 month period. However, in some operational circumstances, this may not always be possible. In addition, under the terms of the Reserve Forces Act 1996, Reservists cannot be deployed for more than 12 months in any three years, unless they volunteer otherwise, and in the case of consultants their deployment patterns would be in line with that of their Regular counterparts.Information on the average length of deployment for consultants serving in the DMS is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.