§ 5. Dame Joan Vickers
asked the Minister of Health if he will state the number of renal units in operation, the total number he intends to promote and where they are to be allocated.
§ The Minister of Health (Mr. Kenneth Robinson)
I assume the hon. Member is referring to units for intermittent dialysis of patients with chronic renal failure. Fourteen National Health Service hospitals are already providing this treatment in 10 regions. Of the initial 20 main centres, at least one will be established in each region.
§ Dame Joan Vickers
I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that reply. With regard to Plymouth, about which I have 69 written to him, can he say whether, if the regional hospital board agrees, and we can provide the accommodation and equipment for four patients a year, and also provide all the necessary money, he will be in a position to agree to setting up a unit in the near future?
§ Mr. Robinson
This really is a matter for the regional board, but I am sure the hon. Lady is aware that there is a pilot scheme at Exeter and one about to start at Bristol, so the South-West Region is not being neglected in this matter.
§ 27. Mr. Peter Mills
asked the Minister of Health what plans he has to give patients in West and North Devon the facilities of a kidney machine.
§ Mr. K. Robinson
Two 10-bed units are planned in the South Western Region for the treatment of patients suffering from chronic renal failure by intermittent haemo-dialysis, one at Southmead, Bristol and the other at Whipton, Exeter. These will be capable of treating between 25 and 30 patients each, and will be available to patients from West and North Devon.
§ Mr. Robinson
As the hon. Member knows, the present plan for the first stage of these developments consists of 20 units. I think two for one region shows that that region is getting at least its share of the resources available.