§ Mr. Stinchcombe
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on shortfalls within the NHS of specialists involved in breast cancer treatment; and what measures he proposes to address such shortfalls. 
§ Mr. Boateng
The Specialty Workforce Advisory Group (SWAG) advises the National Health Service Executive and the Welsh Office on the number of higher specialist trainees needed, to ensure an adequate supply of properly trained doctors in each specialty. It carries out annual reviews of each specialty's need for consultants. SWAG has identified the cancer specialties, including those which are involved with the treatment of breast cancer, as having significant shortages.735W
For 1996–97 and 1997–98, SWAG recommended increases in the number of higher specialist trainees, in the cancer specialties. It has recommended that these be treated as a priority.