HC Deb 11 March 1963 vol 673 cc947-8
18. Mr. Hilton

asked the Minister of Health if he will introduce legislation to require medical officers of health to report monthly to public health committees of local authorities statistics of accidents in the home in their areas.

Mr. Powell

No, Sir.

Mr. Hilton

Why not? Is the Minister aware that accidents in the home have much increased in recent years and that there have been many serious and fatal accidents? Does he know that local authorities are anxious to have this information because they believe that lessons can be learned from it, and that if information of this kind were available to them they could help in preventing further accidents? Do not the medical officers for the various areas already have the information? What is to prevent their giving it to local authorities which ask for it?

Mr. Powell

I am sure that if a local authority requires it the medical officer of health will provide any information which he has. Information on these accidents is provided also by the hospital service. I do not think that a formal instruction to medical officers of health would be helpful in this field.

Mrs. Braddock

Is not the Minister aware of the extent of accidents in the home as a result of scalding when pans are knocked off stoves? Local authorities believe that if they had information about the number of these accidents caused to children they might be able to advise parents on a new device which prevents a pan being pulled off a stove. Will he give local authorities an opportunity to assist parents to pay attention to this possibility, and will he give the matter publicity?

Mr. Powell

This is guidance which the health education authorities do give, but I have no reason to think that the effectiveness of such guidance is altered by the availability or otherwise of precise statistics.

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