HC Deb 23 April 1956 vol 551 cc1439-41
30. Mr. C. Hughes

asked the Minister of Health if he is satisfied that there is adequate provision for speech therapy in North Wales.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Miss Patricia Hornsby-Smith)

I am informed that, although no speech therapists are employed by the hospital authorities in North Wales, cases from that area requiring treatment which includes speech therapy are, by arrangement, adequately dealt with in the neighbouring region.

Mr. Hughes

Is the hon. Lady aware that a number of cases have been brought to my attention recently of children who are unable to obtain treatment? Could she say what arrangements have been made by the Ministry for proper treatment to be available within the area? Could she say to which region those children, or anyone else needing treatment, can go if they want the appropriate treatment?

Miss Hornsby-Smith

I am informed by the Welsh Board of Health that there are no known cases in North Wales awaiting such hospital treatment for speech therapy. If the hon. Member knows of any cases, I should be only too pleased to look into them. At the moment, when such cases arise they go to Liverpool. I must also point out that cases concerning school children come under the Ministry of Education and not the Ministry of Health.

38. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Minister of Health if he will take steps to protect the public from exploitation by unqualified persons claiming to cure speech defects; and if he will publicise the fact that the services of qualified speech therapists are available to adults and children within the National Health Service.

Miss Hornsby-Smith

My right hon. Friend is considering the views of the bodies concerned on the statutory registration of these and other medical auxiliaries. With regard to the second part of the Question, my right hon. Friend does not consider that special publicity is called for.

Mr. Robinson

Is the hon. Lady aware of the serious increase in advertisements on hoardings and in the national Press of quack cures for stammering, stuttering and other speech defects? Is she aware that these are giving rise to serious concern among professional speech therapists?

Miss Hornsby-Smith

I think that the final answer will be reached when we obtain general agreement on a plan of registration of auxiliaries, but I am sure that the hon. Member's Question will have assisted.