HC Deb 21 July 1949 vol 467 c1533
18. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that Mrs. Lawson, the matron of the John Groom's Babies' Home, at Cudham Hall, near Sevenoaks, ordered some spectacles on 12th December, 1948, and did not receive them until 2nd July, 1949; that, owing to the delay in delivery, her sight has deteriorated, so that the new spectacles now provided are no longer suitable; and, in view of the responsible position she holds, if he will take immediate steps to provide her with suitable spectacles.

Mr. Bevan

There is a priority scheme which enables opticians to give preference to cases where delay may involve deterioration of sight, and this lady should be advised to consult her optician.

Sir W. Smithers

Is the Minister aware that when this lady did get her spectacles, after waiting all these months, her sight had so deteriorated that her eyes became bloodshot; and is this not another example of the complete breakdown of administration? In view of the important work this lady has to do, will the Minister take a personal interest in the matter and get her a pair of suitable spectacles?

Mr. Bevan

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will advise his constituent to see the optician; it is within his power to determine priority. In all these cases it is the clinical obligation of the dentist, optician or doctor to decide the urgency of the case.