§ Mrs. Brooke
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent representations he has received about average waiting times for radiotherapy treatment; 
(2) what recent representations he has received about shortages of (a) radiographers and (b) radiologists; and if he will make a statement. 224W
§ Mr. Hutton
The Department has received representations from the Royal College of Radiologists, the Society of Radiographers and others about waiting times and staff shortages in radiotherapy. We are working with the Society of Radiographers and the Royal College of Radiologists to look at all ways of increasing the radiotherapy work force. We have increased the number of therapy radiographers by 10 per cent. since 1997 and to ensure future growth, we have more than doubled, by 111 per cent., the number of training places at universities. We are also extending the careers of radiotherapy staff through new ways of working, which will allow staff to develop and extend their roles in the profession. We have also increased the number of clinical oncologists by 28 per cent., with numbers set to rise further.
We are also making improvements in radiotherapy services by investment in replacement and additional radiotherapy equipment and streamlining and re-designing care processes through the cancer services collaborative.