§ Mr. Battle
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the rules relating to the making available to NHS patients of services and equipment available for private patients in NHS trusts; and what is the position in respect of the laser treatment for myopia at St. James's hospital, Leeds.
§ Dr. Mawhinney
The availability of such services within the National Health Service is dependent on the decisions of purchasers, who are responsible for assessing the health care needs of their resident populations.
The corneal laser centre based at St. James's hospital, Leeds offers a service supplied by an independent company. The laser equipment will be used for the private treatment of short sight, a service currently not available under the NHS. It will also be made available to treat NHS patients with corneal scars. The revenue from leasing the premises and the royalties the trust receives from each operation provides additional funds for services for all patients at the hospital.