HC Deb 23 June 2003 vol 407 cc581-2W
Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many ophthalmic surgeons were practising in the UK in each of the last 11 years; and if he will make a statement; [119708]

(2) what measures he is taking to increase the number of ophthalmic surgeons within the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. [119709]

Mr. Hutton

The table shows how many ophthalmic surgical medical staff including consultant surgeons were practising in England in each of the last 11 years. Information on Scotland and Wales are matters for devolved Administration. Information for Northern Ireland is the responsibility of Ministers in the Northern Ireland Office, while the institutions there are dissolved.

Consultants in ophthalmology have increased by 18 per cent. between September 1997 and March 2002. We expect to see further increases in the number of trained specialists available to take up consultant posts. Latest projections suggest that there will be around 820 consultants in ophthalmology by September 2004. This is part of the substantial planned expansion of the consultant workforce.

As part of our radical approach to free up the training system in 2003–04, trusts will have the opportunity to fund up to 40 additional training posts in ophthalmology. This will support further increases in consultant numbers.

Hospital ophthalmology medical staff, in England: September 1991 to March 2002
Numbers headcount1
Ophthalmology Of which: Consultants
19912 1,641 466
1992 1,536 468
1993 1,686 507
1994 1,659 489
1995 1,739 530
1996 1,862 564
1997 1,915 580
1998 1,966 598
1999 2,021 628
2000 (March) 2,053 651
2001 2,070 683
2002 n/a 687
n/a = Data not available
1 Data as at 31 September each year except 2002 as at 31 March

2 Figures rounded to nearest whole number (correction factor has been applied)


Department of Health Medical and Dental workforce census

Forward to