HC Deb 10 April 2002 vol 383 c440W
Dr. Tonge

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with the British Thoracic Society concerning the number of respiratory specialists in the NHS. [42707]

Mr. Hutton

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met representatives from the British Thoracic Society and the British Lung Foundation on 5 March and discussed a number of issues at the meeting including the number of respiratory specialists in the NHS.

We recognise that treatment of respiratory disease is a high priority specialised area. In 1997 there were 109 Specialist Registrars in Respiratory Medicine. This figure has increased year-on- year and by 2001 had reached 257. This represents a significant increase. As of 30 September 2001 there were 1,020 hospital medical staff within the Respiratory Medicine speciality. This number included 470 consultants.