§ Mr. Alfred Morris
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many heart operations are being deferred at King's College hospital through lack of funds; if he is satisfied that no lives will be endangered by the deferment of operations; if there are enough pacemaker machines at the hospital to meet anticipated need; and if he will make a statement.
§ Dr. Vaughan
[pursuant to his reply, 13 February 1980, c. 711]: There are at present 17 cardiac units in the Thames regions, most of which are sited in London. Together they provide a level of service greater than that in most other parts of the country. Three of the units are situated in the Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham area, at Guy's, St. Thomas' and King's College hospitals, respectively.
Patients already admitted to the King's unit will receive whatever treatment is required. I understand that about 20 to 25 patients on the King's waiting list may need to be admitted as emergencies before the 31 March 1980. It is always open to the doctors concerned to consider referral to other London units if a particular unit is unable to admit them.
The costs of treating patients admitted to the King's unit have to be met within the budget of the district as a whole.
I am arranging an early meeting to discuss the position with the commissioners and the clinicians.