§ Mr. Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many community hospitals no longer carry out operations under general anaesthetic because of a shortage of consultant anaesthetists. 
§ Mr. Hutton
The Department does not collect figures on the numbers of community hospitals which carry out operations under general anaesthetic.
At September 2001, there were 3,550 (headcount) consultant anaesthetists (whole-time equivalent 3,320) for all trusts in England. Our current projections show that by 2004, there will be an increase of around 1,070 trained specialists in anaesthetics.