§ Mr. Silvester
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has plans to introduce the lithotripter into general service in the National Health Service; and what is his estimate of the numbers of population which can be served by each such machine.
§ Mr. John Patten
It is estimated that the lithotripter shortly to be installed at St. Thomas' hospital will enable 1,200 patients to be treated annually. Three quarters of these will be National Health Service patients. Arrangements are in hand for this service to be evaluated, and the findings of the study will be taken into account in deciding whether lithotripsy should be made more widely available within the NHS.