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Kidney Dialysis

Volume 891: debated on Monday 28 April 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what increase in kidney dialysis machines is planned for the next three years for (a) hospital units and (b) home usage;(2) how many kidney dialysis machines are located in each area health authority (

a) in patients' homes and ( b) in hospital units;

(3) how many kidney dialysis machines have been made available through charitable activity in the last three years;

(4) how many kidney dialysis machines have been made available to hospital units in each of the last three years;

(5) what estimate is available of the numbers of kidney complaint sufferers who are unable to benefit from dialysis treatment due to ( a) shortage of machines and ( b) distance of residence from nearest unit;

(6) how many patients are currently undergoing kidney dialysis treatment ( a) at home and ( b) as hospital out-patients;

(7) what is the current cost of a kidney dialysis machine.

I am sending separately to the hon. Member tables which show at 30th June 1972, 1973 and 1974, the latest date at which figures are centrally available, (i) the numbers of patients in chronic renal failure being treated by individual dialysis units in hospital or at home; (ii) the numbers of beds in individual hospital units; (iii) the planned totals of each of the foregoing, though I am afraid I do not have information analysing future plans by individual years.Precise details of the number of dialysis machines in hospitals are not available centrally, but the number of machines used in the treatment of chronic renal failure will equate broadly with the number of beds in hospital dialysis units with some machines in reserve. All patients treated at home have their own machines. The current cost of a kidney dialysis machine is approximately £2,500.

I regret that I do not have information on the number of dialysis machines made available through charitable activity in the last three years.

A Joint Committee of the Royal Colleges estimated in 1972 that between 23 and 39 patients per million population per year, with an upper age limit of 55–60, might benefit from treatment by regular dialysis and/or transplantation. While the situation varies in different parts of the country, in general those patients between the ages of 15 and 45 who are suitable for dialysis can be offered treatment, and in some parts of the country the age range is wider. I am not aware of any patients who are unable to be treated because of the distance they live from a dialysis unit.