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Transplants (Bone Marrow)

Volume 927: debated on Tuesday 8 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services at which hospitals within the National Health Service there are facilities for bone marrow transplantation; and if he is intending to extend this service.

Bone marrow transplantation is undertaken at the Westminster, Hammersmith and Royal Marsden hospitals. It is possible that a very few bone marrow transplants have been carried out elsewhere but I have no information on them. Development of facilities for bone marrow transplantation is a matter for health authorities to consider in the light of resources available to them and having regard to other competing claims for development. Because of the need to develop expertise in the care of these patients and the relatively small number of patients who might at present benefit from this procedure, it is right that this service is concentrated in a very few centres.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much money was spent in 1976 in the National Health Service on research and development and the provision of laboratory and hospital facilities for bone marrow transplantation.

My Department gave no financial support to research and development of bone marrow transplantation during 1976, but, as my hon. Friend stated in the debate on the Adjournment on 19th November 1976β€”[Vol. 919, c. 1801–6.]β€”an application for a research grant has been received from Dr. Hugh-Jones, and I am hopeful that we shall be able to give him a decision on this shortly. Laboratory and hospital facilities for this technique are provided by hospital authorities under their normal service responsibilities and details of expenditure on them are not separately available.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is making any provision towards the cost of bone marrow transplantation and to the research into this operation and the development of the necessary laboratory and hospital facilities outside the National Health Service.

My Department has no knowledge of any request for assistance towards the cost of bone marrow transplantation, for the support of research, or for the provision of laboratory or other facilities outside the National Health Service and no payments on this account have been made, but we are considering an application to support an experimental project at the Westminster Hospital where related work is already benefiting from voluntary funds.