§ Mr. Barry Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many multiple sclerosis sufferers there are in Wales; and how many specialist centres for the treatment of multiple sclerosis sufferers there are in Wales.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
Since multiple sclerosis is not a notifiable disease detailed information on the numbers of sufferers is not held centrally. People with multiple sclerosis are a sub-group, albeit a large one, of a group of patients who suffer from disabling neurological conditions. Statistics obtained from district health authorities on the numbers of admissions to inpatient or attendances at outpatient departments are unlikely to reflect in full the incidence of the disease.
There are no specialist centres for multiple sclerosis sufferers in Wales. It is for district health authorities to provide and develop appropriate clinical facilities for those with multiple sclerosis, as indeed for other patients with disabling neurological conditions. Service provision is normally made available by district general hospitals.