§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
Information in the form requested by the hon. Member is in the following table:
NHS consultant posts not occupied by a permanent holder at 30 September 1984 (All figures, England and Wales) Total Medical Dental Wholly unoccupied 729 705 24 Occupied by locums 269 269 3 Wholly unoccupied on 30 September 1984 and not occupied by a permanent holder for 12 months or more 345 334 11 Occupied by locums on 30 September 1984; and not occupied by a permanent holder for 12 months or more 117 115 2
Care is required in interpreting the figures given in the table which use a definition of consultant vacancies including new posts not yet advertised or filled. Regions are quite free to determine that their service needs do not require them to appoint to such consultant posts.
Consultant staff in post have increased by about 300 a year since 1979. This reflects generally good recruitment and the priority given by health authorities to these appointments in maintaining and developing their services.
From 1985, vacancy figures will not include posts not yet advertised or filled.