HC Deb 11 May 1970 vol 801 cc215-6W
72. Mr. Robert Howarth

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what special brassieres are available to women under National Health Service treatment following mastectomy; if they are supplied to all parts of the country; who decides if the superior foam-filled brassiere should be provided; and whether psychological factors are taken into account as well as medical considerations.

Dr. John Dunwoody:

The prescription of a prosthesis following mastectomy is a matter of clinical judgment for the consultant concerned, who may choose from a range of artificial breasts made from moulded sponge rubber, kapok, plastic granules, viscose fluid, sponge rubber combined with plastic granules, and inflatable rubber.

73. Mr. Robert Howarth

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what numbers and types of special brassieres were provided by the National Health Service to women after mastectomy in 1969; what was the individual cost of these brassieres; if he has received complaints about the seed-bag type filler which is generally supplied in certain parts of the country; and whether he proposes to make the foam-filled brassiere more generally available.

Mr. John Dunwoody:

In 1969 approximately 44,000 breast prostheses were supplied under the National Health Service, of which about 30 per cent, were of moulded sponge rubber and a similar proportion of viscose fluid: some 25 per cent, were of plastic granules and a little over 10 per cent, of kapok. It is not the practice to reveal contract prices. All these types are generally available. Bird seed filling has not been used for 10 years.