§ Mr. Sheerman
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many medical consultants(a) are suspended and (b) have been suspended in each of the last five years. 
§ Mr. Hutton
National Health Service trusts report suspensions lasting six months or longer to the Department. As at 31 December 2001, the latest date for which figures are available, of the 29 hospital and community medical and dental staff who have been suspended for more than six months, 23 are consultants.
The number of consultants suspended for more than six months in each the last five years is as follows:
Year Numbers 19971 4 1998 16 1999 14 2000 19 2001 18 1 This information is unlikely to be accurate due to the data collection methods used at the time.