§ 28. Mr. Tony Lloyd
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on National Health Service provision for sufferers from sickle cell anaemia.
§ Mrs. Currie
Screening and counselling services are provided by district health authorities which decide the resources to be devoted locally to this inherited blood disorder in the light of local needs, and competing priorities. There are 12 National Health Service sickle cell counselling centres in England. In addition, the Department makes grants of £15,000 per annum each to the Sickle Cell Society and to the Organisation for Sickle Cell Anaemia Research.
We shall be launching a new initiative in March, in which haemoglobinopathy cards will be provided for issue by haematologists to patients who have been tested for either sickle cell disease or thalassaemia. Patients will be able to use the card to provide doctors, nurses and dentists with information they may need before giving treatment.