§ Miss Emma Nicholson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make it his policy to establish a national system for checking and monitoring within each health authority the correct calibration and performance of radiotherapy machines in addition to the monitoring by the Health and Safety Executive to be implemented by all departments of physics and radiation;
(2) if there is a national system for setting up and monitoring the performance of cancer radioactive treatment machines which includes the initial calibration calculation;
(3) if he will issue guidance to district health authorities as to their obligations to take full responsibility for the standards of work carried out by their various departments including physics and radiotherapy and as to the different responsibilities in this area and of the Health and Safety Executive.
§ Mrs. Currie
It is a prime responsibility of health authorities to ensure the safe and effective operation of all departments. This is over and above any specific statutory responsibilities under regulations enforced by inspectors of the Health and Safety Executive. In the light of the recent report by Sir Bryan Thwaites on the regrettable lapses at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital, we will be issuing further guidance on the calibration of radiotherapy machines which we will expect all health authorities to implement.