§ Mr. Gunnell
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what specific arrangements are made for a woman who has suffered a double mastectomy to receive prostheses on the NHS;
(2) which breast prostheses are available on national health service prescription;
(3) for which breast prostheses her Department will pay for a woman, on income support, who has suffered a double mastectomy.
§ Mr. Sackville
The arrangements for the supply of breast prostheses to women who have suffered a double mastectomy are no different from those which apply to women who have had a single mastectomy. Breast prostheses are available through the hospital service. They are not available on a general practitioner's prescription. Where they are prescribed by a hospital consultant they are supplied and fitted free of charge to the patient, regardless of income. Individual consultants are able to prescribe whatever types of prostheses best meet the needs of their patients, taking into account other priorities and the availability of resources. If a woman has a personal preference for a more expensive type of prosthesis than that supplied by the hospital, she is free to make her own arrangements and meet the whole cost.
§ Mr. Gunnell
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consultations she has had with Mastectomy Advice Self-Help concerning the availability of prostheses.