HC Deb 24 October 1966 vol 734 c615
6. Sir Clive Bossom

asked the Minister of Health if he will issue instructions to ensure that the phenylkeltonuria testing of children is carried out in all parts of the British Isles and not as at present confined to certain areas.

Mr. K. Robinson

All local health authorities in England and Wales are now testing for this condition.

Sir C. Bossom

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is not really compulsory, because I think some counties are not doing this? Is he aware that a small county like Herefordshire feels so strongly on this issue that it is carrying out this test because it saves thousands of £s to the National Health Service, but more important, because it means that specialised treatment and tuition for these unfortunate children can be given at an earlier age?

Mr. Robinson

I assure the hon. Gentleman that I have checked and confirmed that all local authorities are doing this. The results have shown that there were 41 positive cases in 1964 and 45 in 1965. This amounts to about one in 20,000 live births. This is, therefore, a comparatively rare condition, although I agree that it is highly desirable that it is diagnosed at the earliest possible stage.