HC Deb 04 February 1976 vol 904 cc673-4W
Mr. Lomas

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will make a statement on the latest position of consultants and junior doctors in the National Health Service.

Mrs. Castle

As I told the House on 12th December—[Vol. 902, c. 828–38]—we reached an agreement with the juniors which led to their representatives recommending a suspension of industrial action shortly before Christmas. It was part of the agreement that there should be an independent audit of the amount of money being paid on extra duty allowances during the current year, which is the money available for distribution under the new contract. Price Waterhouse and Co. undertook this audit and a copy of their report has been placed in the Library. The Review Body is considering the report and the written and oral evidence on the 12th December agreement which has been submitted to the Review Body jointly by the professions and the Health Departments. I am glad to say that there has been a general resumption of normal working by junior doctors.

The proposals on the pay beds dispute which I referred to in my statement to the House of 15th December—[Vol. 902, c. 971–79]—have been put by the professions to a ballot of consultants and I hope will pave the way for a settlement of this dispute also.

Mr. Atkinson

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many doctors emigrated from the United Kingdom during the last 12 months for which figures are available; and if she will separate them into the following groups, namely, general practitioners, consultants, junior hospital staff and medical research.

Dr. Owen

The latest date for which validated figures are available is the 12-month period ending September 1973 when the outflow of British or Irish born doctors was 920, the inflow was 630, and the net loss was 290. Of the outflow, 395 left NHS hospital posts and 64 left NHS general medical practice. The balance is due to people leaving the country from medical employment other than the NHS: analysis of this group is not readily available. I will write to my hon. Friend when further information becomes available.