HC Deb 13 February 1967 vol 741 cc90-1
21. Mr. Newens

asked the Minister of Health if he will make a statement on the provision of facilities and the keeping of records to ensure that children with a history of abnormalities at birth or shortly afterwards are kept under supervision with a view to the earliest possible detection and treatment of any handicaps which may arise.

71. Mr. Cronin

asked the Minister of Health what is his policy with regard to Keeping records and ensuring continuing surveillance and follow-up treatment for children born with serious congenital?

Mr. K. Robinson

The importance of early detection and continuing care and support, including the maintenance of full records, for all handicapped children was drawn to the attention of all local education and health and welfare authorities in a circular sent to them in March last. Their reports on their arrangements are now being studied.

Mr. Newens

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Is he aware that much of this information is still not being made available where it is most required, particularly to teachers when children begin school? Will he continue his efforts to try to get the practice of making the information available more widely known?

Mr. Robinson

The extent to which my hon. Friend's allegations are correct will emerge when the study has been completed. One or two authorities have asked for a little more time in which to report. When the study is complete, we shall consider what further action may be called for.

Mr. Cronin

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there have been very great advances recently in the search for treatment for these unfortunate children and that the problem now is not so much how to treat them as to ensure that all these unfortunate children receive the treatment they require?

Mr. Robinson

Yes, Sir. I would not dissent from what my hon. Friend says.