HC Deb 23 April 1956 vol 551 cc1445-6
48. Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Minister of Health how many doctors have had their prescribing records examined by his Department during the last twelve months on grounds of excessive prescribing.

Miss Hornsby-Smith

Excessive prescribing can only be established following an investigation by the local medical committee, but the prescribing of 2,432 doctors in England and Wales was examined in the twelve months ending on 31st March, 1956, because the cost appeared substantially above average.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Would the hon. Lady agree that this is a valuable way of following up the costs of prescribing? Might it not be valuable to increase the amount of this work in view of the cases in which, for example, aureomycin is being prescribed by doctors for common colds, and so on?

Miss Hornsby-Smith

I do not think that any cases that appear to require investigation are being missed. Regional medical officers have visited 468 doctors and have also written to 1,277, so they have covered a fair field.

Sir A. Gomme-Duncan

Is it not rather strange that the hon. Member who asked this Question should ask for no economies in the previous Question, but suggest economies in this one?