§ Dr. Godman
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which health boards are to appoint extra consultants; what criteria were used in the allocation of the extra posts; which health boards made applications for more consultants; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
The number of hospital consultants in Scotland has been expanding rapidly—by over 3 per cent. last year. A further increase in the number of consultants has been encouraged by a Scottish Home and Health Department circular on hospital medical staffing in Scotland issued to all health boards in December 1988, and I shall be keeping a careful watch to see that progress is maintained. It is for health boards to create new consultant posts, subject to the agreement of the Department, which is advised by the Advisory Committee on Medical Establishments on manpower considerations. Consultant posts recommended in the 1987 report "Staffing the Service—The Next Decade" do not require departmental approval.