HC Deb 07 November 1979 vol 973 cc222-3W
Dr. Summerskill

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether the number of prescriptions issued since the last increase in charges has increased or decreased; and what are the figures over this period.

Dr. Vaughan

No information is collected on the number of prescriptions issued. The table attached sets out the number of prescriptions dispensed since prescription charges were last increased in July 1979, with earlier figures for comparison. Fluctuations from month to month are normal and it is too soon to measure the trend, but a short-term drop in prescription numbers is to be expected.

Dr. Vaughan

The waiting lists for orthopaedic surgery are longer than I and the Birmingham area health authority (teaching) would wish. A review group set up by the area health authority (teaching) to advise on ways to improve the organisation of orthopaedic services in the area has now completed its task, and its recommendations are being considered by the authority.

Mr. Rooker

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has received a report from the Royal College of Surgeons indicating that its approval is to be withdrawn from Good Hope hospital, Sutton Coldfield due to lack of adequate training facilities in orthopaedic services.

Dr. Vaughan

No, but I understand than the Birmingham area health authority (teaching) is considering the siuation at Good Hope hospital in the light of that report and the proposal contained in the strategic plan of the West Midlands regional health authority that there should be a major extension of facilities at the hospital.