§ Mr. Tiley
asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that hardship is caused to National Health Service patients in Bradford due to pressure on consultants' time and that long delays occur before appointments can be obtained at outpatient orthopaedic clinics; and whether, in order to relieve this pressure and give patients a better service, he will arrange for general practitioners to be authorised to prescribe such items as spinal supports and surgical belts without prior reference to a consultant.
§ Mr. Braine
No. Urgent cases are seen at once, and in non-urgent cases the delay is less than two month. I should like to see this period reduced, but my right hon. Friend is satisfied that the provision of appliances of this kind is more appropriate to the hospital and specialist services.