§ Mr. Battle
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will name those district health authorities which have the new machines for treating patients with kidney stones by means of lasers, rather than by use of surgery; and how many machines his Department are planning to purchase in this financial year.
§ Mrs. Currie
The names of district health authorities which use lasers to treat kidney stones are not recorded centrally. A different form of treatment, known as extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy, uses shock waves to disperse kidney stones. This service is being developed on 43W a regional basis and it is for regional health authorities to plan their purchases of lithotripters. We are, however, aware that within the National Health Service, lithotripters are in use in the West Lambeth and South Manchester health authorities. A machine is being installed in Sheffield.