§ Mr. Kennedy
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has made any estimate of the effect of the abatement rules on the availability of recently retired consultants for short-term locums in the summer months, and of the effect this has had on National Health Service waiting lists.
§ Mr. Newton
It is not possible to make any such estimate. The abatement rules which apply to consultants are those which apply to all National Health Service staff who retire from the service and take retirement benefits. The current abatement provisions in the major public sector occupational schemes are under review.