HC Deb 07 November 1950 vol 480 c741
3. Sir Ian Fraser

asked the Minister of Pensions what steps he takes to have the motor-powered invalid chairs, supplied by his Department, regularly inspected; and at what intervals this is done.

Mr. Simmons

Patients are expected to keep the machines in good running order and an inspection is made approximately once a year to see that this is done. When the machines are in the hands of repairers, the opportunity is taken to have them overhauled. My right hon Friend is considering whether any changes are required in the existing arrangements for inspection.

Sir I. Fraser

Following the recent observations of a coroner at Nottingham that these machines were dangerous in some respects and should be frequently inspected, has the Minister had a report and, if so, how does it affect his policy?

Mr. Simmons

There is no record of any previous accident arising from a failure of this sort on this type of steering, and nearly 4,000 machines are carrying it at present. If, on examination of the engineer's report from the insurance company, which we are to receive along with that of our own technical experts, my right hon. Friend is convinced that these machines are, in fact, unsafe, he will take immediate steps to rectify the position.

Mr. Vane

Will the hon. Gentleman try and see whether the repair and inspection of these invalid chairs can be done in a more decentralised way than at present, on the same lines as my plea for the fitting of artificial limbs? Is he also aware that this is a perfectly genuine question and does not deserve the gibe he applied to my previous Question.

Mr. Simmons

The hon. Gentleman is quite wrong. They are decentralised in regional offices.

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