HL Deb 11 October 1993 vol 549 cc11-2WA
Baroness Jeger

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why there is a reported under-use of kidney dialysis machines in certain hospitals, especially in London, while there are seriously-ill patients waiting for treatment.

Figures for 1985 and 1986 include transfers to other hospitals, while figures from 1987–l88 onwards exclude transfers between hospitals and are estimates of finished consultant episodes.

Information on destination on discharge is given in the Volume of Memoranda from the Health Committee, Public Expenditure on Health and Personal Social Services—Session 1992–93Question 14 (ISBN 0 10 248993 9), a copy of which is available in the Library.


The total number of learning disabled (mentally handicapped) patients discharged from long stay residential institutions in each of the last five years and their destination on discharge is as follows:

Year Number of patients Family Discharged to Village Other
1988–89 96 0 0 96
1989–90 146 2 0 144
1990–91 152 3 0 149
1991–92 155 2 0 153
1992–93 182 3 0 179
Total 731 10 0 721

Excludes transfers between hospitals.


The following table shows discharges from mental handicap hospitals between 1988–92 where the length of stay is greater than one year.

Baroness Cumberlege

Provision of renal services, including kidney machines for those who need them, is a matter for the trusts and health authorities. Most hospital haemodialysis units will have periods when, for good reasons, not every kidney machine is in use, but it does not follow from this that some patients are denied access to a machine, as was suggested in a recent newspaper article. A national review to determine whether there is any unmet need for renal services has just been commissioned and is expected to be completed by early 1994.