asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will now make additional funds available to step up the search for matching bone marrow tissue in the case of Master Anthony Nolan, of Manston, Kent; and if she will make a statement.
Anthony Nolan is a young boy of 2½ years who is being treated at the Westminster Hospital for a rare immune deficiency disease—Wiscott-Aldrich syndrome.In 1973 the Department called together a group of experts to advise on the desirability of forming a bone marrow donor panel on a national basis. The expert group advised that such a panel was desirable and a working party was set up to prepare a possible scheme. This working party has not yet reported but it is likely, I understand, to recommend to the Department the setting up of a panel of 30,000 donors over the next four-five years by the National Blood Transfusion Service.Until we can set up a national panel, bone marrow transplantation can be undertaken only on the initiative of hospitals themselves, and the Westminster Hospital is in process of tissue-typing volunteers. It is for the area health authority concerned to decide on the allocation of resources. The Anthony Nolan Appeal Fund, launched by the child's mother, is providing resources principally for staff for tissue-typing at the hospital. The National Blood Transfusion Service has been able to help with the provision of tissue-typing sera.