§ 32. Mr. David Heath
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on recruitment and retention of staff in Defence Medical Services. 
§ Dr. Moonie
As we have previously acknowledged, there are serious shortages of manpower in the regular Defence Medical Services. Manning levels over the last year have been fairly stable although the numbers leaving on premature voluntary retirement continue at higher levels than we would wish. Recruitment into training is364W generally satisfactory, with nurse training places and medical cadetships having been increased. Direct entry recruitment of qualified personnel is difficult, particularly of qualified doctors. Measures to improve both retention and direct entry recruitment are under consideration.