HC Deb 10 February 1958 vol 582 cc31-2
58. Mrs. L. Jeger

asked the Minister of Health what composite packs are now available under the National Health Service on a single prescription payment for patients suffering from colostomy, diabetes, and other chronic complaints needing more than one item for treatment.

Mr. Walker-Smith

With permission, I will circulate the list in the OFFICIAL REPORT. It is hoped to add to this a new dressings pack suitable, among other purposes, for the dressing of chronic ulcers.

Mrs. Jeger

Is not the Minister aware, as I think most hon. Members are, that this list is lamentably short? Would it not be possible for him, in order to overcome the difficulties of physical packing of various items together, to have a separate coloured prescription form for certain chronic illnesses, so that, where a number of items had to be prescribed for chronic illnesses, the chemist would know that he should charge only a shilling for the batch of items, irrespective of whether or not they could actually be packed together?

Mr. Walker-Smith

We have been having discussions on this subject, as the hon. Lady will know, with the British Medical Association, but it has not yet been possible to devise any packs beyond those we already have. However, discussions are continuing, to ensure that all possibilities of meeting the needs of the chronic sick are explored, and I will certainly give consideration to any suggestion coming from the hon. Lady in that regard.

Dr. Summerskill

Why have there been years of delay in deciding this very simple matter?

Mr. Walker-Smith

I do not think there have been years of delay. We have these discussions in order that we can give effect to any practical ideas which may emerge for producing these packs.

Following is the list:

  • Atomiser.
  • Smog Mask.
  • Vaporiser.
  • Hypodermic Syringe.
  • Urine Sugar Analysis Set.
  • Colostomy Apparatus.
  • Suprapubic Belt.
  • Douche.
  • Higginson's Enema Syringe.