The president and council of the Society and College of Radiographers kindly invited my right hon. Friend to attend the inauguration of their president for 1979–80. Unfortunately, he will not be able to attend the inauguration personally, but I am very pleased to attend on his behalf.
Delighted as I am that my hon. Friend is to attend this important function, may I ask whether he is aware that as a result of represent- tations made by the society, nurses in the cottage hospitals in my area are unable to take simple X-rays? Since much of this exercise is water under the bridge, so to speak, will the Minister do his very best to ensure that—if we have to pay more for the Society of Radiographers to conduct X-rays—a regular service will be provided and that, even more important, X-ray services will remain in cottage hospitals throughout the country?
I have some sympathy for the cause which my hon. Friend has championed in past months. However, I am advised that both for the protection of patients and to obtain the best use from diagnostic X-ray equipment it is preferable to use staff trained in radiography.