§ Mr. Onslow
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will take steps to encourage all health authorities in England and Wales to reduce the costs incurred in employing locum doctors through agencies;
(2) if he will list the health authorities in England and Wales which are taking or considering taking steps to reduce the cost of employing locum doctors through agencies.
§ Mr. Newton
We are aware that discussions aimed at reducing expenditure on medical agency staff are taking place within Trent, Yorkshire, Northern, Mersey, West Midlands and the four Thames regional health authorities. Officials are planning to meet representatives of the profession and senior National Health Service management to consider the issues involved.