§ Mr. Haynes
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, in view of the shortfall of 7,500 chiropodists in the National Health Service he will take urgent measures to improve recruitment into the service.
§ Sir George Young
The vast majority of available State registered chiropodists are already undertaking work for the National Health Service either on a full-time or part-time basis, depending on their other commitments. In addition, many health authorities have recruited unqualified staff as foot care assistants to undertake routine tasks and enable their chiropodists to use their skills to better advantage. In order to increase the supply of qualified chiropodists plans have been drawn up which will, within the next few years, provide for an overall 50 per cent. increase in output of students from training schools over the level achieved in 1978. This is considered the maximum increase which can be achieved in the medium term without a fall in standards and within the resource constraints on staffing and accommodation. The scope for further progress will, however, be kept under review.