HC Deb 14 June 1988 vol 135 cc154-5W
40. Mr. Brazier

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress is being made with the organ transplantation programme.

Mrs. Currie

Provisional figures for the first five months of 1988 show a major rise in organ transplantation compared with a similar period last year. The total number of National Health Service transplants of kidneys, hearts, heart-lungs, lungs and livers notified to the United Kingdom transplant service are as follows:

  • 1 January 1987 to 29 May 1987: 708
  • 1 January 1988 to 31 May 1988: 1,045

These statistics reveal a remarkable increase of 48 per cent. in the number of transplants carried out. The figures reflect the positive publicity given to organ transplantation this year, both by the Government and by others.

As previously announced by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Health on 16 December 1987 at column 1094, from 1 April 1988 we are also funding an additional centre for liver transplantation at St. James' university hospital, Leeds and a fourth heart transplant unit at Wythenshawe hospital, Manchester.

On 3 June I was honoured to be the guest speaker at a special meeting to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the United Kingdom transplant service. In recognition of the growing demands on its services resulting from the expansion of the transplant programme, we have allocated additional funds to the United Kingdom transplant service in this financial year. The revenue allocation in 1988–89 is £929,000 compared with £800,000 in 1987–88. The additional resources provide for additional staff in the organ exchange and data processing departments, and will help to develop the eye bank which stores tissue for use in corneal transplant operations. We are also providing a capital allocation of £61,000 for new and replacement equipment.

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