§ Mr. Moonman
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what study he has made of the recent proposals made at a mental health conference by Dr. Alexander Mitchell, consultant psychiatrist at two hospitals, concerning staff shortages in the United Kingdom psychiatry service, in particular psychiatric teaching, details of which have been sent to him; and if he will take steps to institute an inquiry into recruitment to the psychiatry service.
I have seen the press report sent to me by my hon. Friend and have also studied a transcript of Dr. Mitchell's address. The recommendations of the Royal Commission on Medical Education regarding the teaching of psychiatry are a matter for the universities to consider. Within the National Health Service in England and Wales the number of staff occupying166W training posts in the psychiatric specialties increased from 713 to 891 (an increase of approximately 25 per cent.) between September, 1964 and 1968. The numbers of consultants in those specialties increased by some 30 per cent., from 799 to 1,040 in the same period. I do not consider that any special inquiry into recruitment of psychiatrists is required.