asked the Minister of Health how long discussions have been going on with the Joint Consultants Committee on the future of senior registrars who have completed their normal term of service; and when he expects to announce a decision.
The present series of discussions which has raised issues of considerable complexity has extended over the past two years but developed from earlier discussions on junior hospital medical staffing. A decision will be reached as soon as possible.
Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman say whether it is his Department or the consultants who are responsible for this interminable delay which is causing acute anxiety and distress to the senior registrars? Does he not appreciate that he is himself in breach of faith to these men at the moment, and will he come to a decision very quickly?
I do not accept any allegations of breach of faith. I am certainly getting on with this as fast as possible. My proposals went to the Committee in November, and they are to be discussed again at the next meeting with the Joint Committee which is on the 30th of this month.