Lithotripsy (Hansard, 16 November 1987)
HC Deb 16 November 1987 vol 122 c431W
Sir John Farr

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make more funds available for further investment in lithotripsy with at least one machine in each region, so as to avoid excessive waiting time for patients.

Mr. Newton

We have no plans to provide central funds for the purchase of lithotripters. We have made it clear that this service should develop on a regional basis. In addition to the machine operated in conjunction with the private sector at St. Thomas' hospital in London, NHS lithotripers have recently gone, or are about to go, into operation in Manchester, Sheffield (where part of the capacity of the machine is being used to evaluate its effectiveness in treating gallstones) and St. Paul's hospital, London. This should reduce waiting time for patients. In addition, there are two private sector machines in London with which health authorities could have contractual arrangements if they thought this appropriate.

Sir John Farr

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the average waiting time today for patients needing extra corporeal shock wave lithotripsy; and what was the comparable waiting time two years ago.

Mr. Newton

I am sorry I cannot give my hon. Friend the information he seeks. It is not available centrally.

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