HC Deb 14 July 1958 vol 591 cc817-8
35. Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Minister of Health what discussions he has had with local authorities and interested professional and voluntary bodies regarding the extended provision of chiropody services for old people.

Mr. R. Thompson

Representations in favour of extending the present chiropody services have been received from a number of local authority, professional and voluntary organisations. While we would all like to see an extension of this service, the continuing need to limit expenditure precludes my right hon. and learned Friend from authorising further provision for the time being.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Does the hon. Gentleman not agree that some saving could very well be obtained if an extension of chiropody services were now being organised and planned? Would it not be the proper first step to get in touch with the local authorities and discuss the matter with them?

Mr. Thompson

Yes, Sir, but we have to consider the cost, which is an estimated £1¼ million per annum, for providing a free chiropody service under the National Health Service. With so many other calls on our resources, we have to consider seriously whether that is the appropriate employment of such a large sum of money.