§ Ms. Walley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, further to the answer to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North, of 25 April, what criteria were not met by each of the nine unsuccessful bids for consultant posts made by north Staffordshire district health authority under the 100 consultants scheme.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
The criteria for this scheme were set out in my reply to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North on 25 April at columns216–17.
We received about 250 bids for the 100 available posts, and a large number of these bids met the criteria, they were assessed within each specialty according to the extent to which they would reduce long waiting lists and times.
In assessing North Staffordshire's need for the limited number of posts available, we took account of the applications for the West Midlands region as a whole and consulted Inter-Authority Comparisons and Consultancy (IACC), which is examining this district's waiting lists as part of the waiting list initiative.
North Staffordshire's bid for a consultant gynaecolo-gist was successful. We were unable to give priority to the district's other bids for the following reasons:
treated from the waiting lists. The district's waiting lists are being examined again this year, and it may qualify for a further allocation from the £12 million set aside for the longest lists.