HC Deb 09 July 1979 vol 970 cc52-3W
Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the latest figure available for the average age of X-ray equipment in use in the United Kingdom; what is the normal life of the equipment; and if he will make a statement;

  1. (2) how many out-patients had to revisit hospitals for X-ray purposes due to the failure of the X-ray apparatus on their first visit, for the most recent available period;
  2. (3) what are the latest figures available for the amount and proportion of the National Health Service budget allocated for the provision of X-ray equipment; and what plans he has to make a specific annual allocation for the provision and replacement of X-ray equipment;
  3. (4) what plans he has for providing in the National Health Service a forward planning programme for the replacement and capital purchase of X-ray equipment.

Sir George Young

Information about the age of X-ray equipment in the National Health Service is not collected centrally but it is estimated that in 1976 the average age was 10 years. The normal life of such equipment is approximately 10 to 20 years depending on its nature and use.

The preparation of plans for the provision and replacement of X-ray equipment and the allocation of funds for such purposes are the responsibility of health authorities. They have been asked to formulate replacement programmes over the next three years.

The amounts allocated by each authority for the provision and replacement of X-ray equipment are not available centrally but in 1977–78 approximately £17 million were spent on diagnostic X-ray equipment by the National Health Service in England and Wales, representing about 0.28 per cent. of total NHS expenditure for that year.

Information about the failure of X-ray equipment is not readily available.

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