HC Deb 16 December 1964 vol 704 cc367-8
15. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will state the number of mechanically-propelled vehicles which were supplied for the use of seriously disabled persons in Aberdeen during each of the last five years; and what opportunities are given for the exchange of old vehicles for the latest types.

Mr. Ross

The figures, which include cars for disabled war pensioners, are as follows:

1960 11
1961 24
1962 10
1963 7
1964 (to November) 11
Vehicles are inspected annually by the Technical Officer on the staff of the Appliance Centre, and are replaced as necessary.

Mr. Hughes

My right hon. Friend has not dealt with the subject of exchange referred to in the Question. When effecting the exchange of old cars, will he bear in mind that many of these disabled persons need help? Will he provide them with cars which will enable them to have with them a nurse or some assistant to help when they go from place to place?

Mr. Ross

The vehicles are exchanged and replaced as necessary, but I have a feeling that my hon. and learned Friend is drawing my attention to the distinction which exists in the provision as between disabled ex-Service men and National Health Service patients. I can assure him that, while we are sympathetic, we cannot at the moment make any change in relation to this distinction.

Mr. W. Baxter

Will my right hon. Friend look at the Regulations appertaining to people who are considered for vehicles such as this, as the Regulations at the moment seem to lay it down that if the leg is amputated above the knee a vehicle will be provided but that if the amputation is below the knee no vehicle will be provided? Will he look into the Regulations in order to amend this?

Mr. Ross

I have already looked at the Regulations. My hon. Friend is quite right; the Regulations are very tightly drawn in relation to the severity of disablement. My hon. Friend will appreciate of course, that there are limits to what we can do in this respect, and it is right, I think, to meet the needs of those who are more severely disabled, earlier and to a greater extent than others.