§ Mr. Gould
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the purpose of the research being carried out by Political and Economic Planning into the careers of British-qualified and overseas-qualified doctors; who approved the questionnaire being used; how many people and what categories of people are being asked to complete the questionnaire; how much is the exercise likely to cost; and who is to meet the cost.422W
§ Mr. Moyle
The research being undertaken by Political and Economic Planning (PEP) is a result of a recommendation of the Committee of Inquiry into the Regulation of the Medical Profession chaired by Dr. (now Sir) Alec Merrison. It seeks information about the extent to which overseas doctors are able to pursue careers within the NHS and how far their career aspirations are modified in the light of their experience. It is also expected to show how the skills of overseas doctors are used and developed within the NHS.
The research is in two parts: one is a series of case studies of doctors working in 10 hospitals; the other a survey of individual doctors by questionnaire. PEP drew up the questionnaire in consultation with my Department, the British Medical Association and the Overseas Doctors Association. It has been used on a sample of 2,000 general practitioners and hospital doctors in 49 health districts. Of these doctors, 700 were British-born and 1,300 were born elsewhere.
My Department commissioned the research from PEP at a cost of £47,000.