§ Mr. Alfred Morris
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will commission a study into the number of doctors taking early retirement from the NHS and the reasons for which they do so. 
§ Mr. Malone
The Department supports cohort studies of doctors' careers by the medical careers research group at the Oxford unit of health-care epidemiology. These examine career patterns and wastage in the medical profession and the reasons why doctors leave the national health service.
The future programme of work will include a survey of the earliest cohort of doctors, who graduated in 1974. Most of these doctors are now in their mid to late 40s—some are older—so that, over the next few years, the studies will provide information on early retirements as well as a picture of the doctors' retirement intentions.