§ Mr. Swayne
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to what he attributes the increase in servicemen medically downgraded between August 2000 and November 2001; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Dr. Moonie
I assume that the figures to which the hon. Member refers are those given in my recent reply to him on 22 November 2001,Official Report, columns 369–70, and in a letter in response to a question from the right hon. and learned Member for North-East Fife (Mr. Campbell) in September 2000, Official Report, column 749W, dated 27 July 2000. The key figures are as follows:
RN/RM Army RAF 1 August 2000 2,510 9,144 3,796 1 August 2001 — 9,718 3,871 20 November 2001 3,678 — —
Further work has now revealed that the November 2001 figure inadvertently included a group of some 850–900 personnel who do not fall within the 'medically downgraded' definition.
Regrettably it is not possible, from data currently held centrally, to provide an analysis of the causes of the increases. Improving data and analysis in this area is a high priority, on which action is already in hand.