HC Deb 06 March 1995 vol 256 c45W
Mr. Nicholls

To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what circumstances and subject to what conditions transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation machines are available on the NHS.

Mr. Sackville

National health service consultants may prescribe pain relief equipment such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulators—TENS machines—as part of NHS treatment, and when they do no charge is made. Health authorities may provide such equipment either on a permanent basis or on loan. However, supply depends on decisions being made on the basis of clinical priorities and local needs.

In some cases, where pain relief equipment is not considered clinically essential, a consultant may nevertheless advise a patient that he could use it if he wished. In such cases, health authorities would not be responsible for either providing or maintaining the equipment.