HC Deb 19 April 1951 vol 486 c1997
34. Mr. Turton

asked the Minister of Health whether he will provide local authorities with a distinctive card for distribution to aged people living alone, so that they may be able to display the card in their window when they are in need of help.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Mr. Blenkinsop)

No, Sir. This is a suggestion that should be left to the local authorities together with the voluntary organisation to consider.

Mr. Turton

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that it is very valuable to have a window card which is uniform in all local authority areas, so that such a card can easily be recognised and many deaths prevented? Will he look into the matter, which is of great importance to old people living alone?

Mr. Blenkinsop

This matter has been looked into and some authorities run such a scheme, but there is doubt whether it is an advisable scheme.

Mrs. Mann

Would it not be rather a dangerous suggestion to carry out, as it might leave the house open to any suspicious characters who may be in the neighbourhood?

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind, particularly arising from the debate in another place yesterday, that there is very widespread concern about the number of old people who are left alone in very difficult circumstances? If this is not the best way to solve the problem will he consider something similar, but more suitable?

Mr. Blenkinsop

We have been encouraging local authorities to get together with voluntary organisations to work out schemes for their areas, and this is going forward rapidly.