HC Deb 23 October 1967 vol 751 cc1332-3
23. Mr. G. Campbell

asked the Minister of Health whether he has yet decided upon an inquiry into the numbers of permanently disabled persons, following studies by Bedford College, London, with a view to compiling a register of such persons in England and Wales.

Mr. K. Robinson

Yes, Sir. The Government Social Survey will undertake next year a study of adults living at home who are substantially and permanently handicapped by limitations in their movements. The survey will show the extent to which they receive and need help from local authority services and will assist in the development of those services. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Social Security is also keenly interested in this field, and I shall be discussing with her how far the survey can yield information of particular value to her.

Mr. Campbell

Has the Minister yet decided himself whether a register of the kind described in my Question is necessary, because the disabled who have never been able to work have never appeared in the National Insurance system?

Mr. Robinson

I am not sure whether in part that is not a question for my right hon. Friend, but the survey will enable disabled people to be identified with much more precision than at the moment.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Does my right hon. Friend realise that there are many permanently disabled persons who are not within the scope of Bedford College? Therefore, to make his list complete, will he enlist the assistance of the Secretary of State for Scotland in order to include disabled persons in Scotland?

Mr. Robinson

I shall be discussing with my right hon. Friend the possibility of extending this survey to Scotland.

25. Mr. Alfred Morris

asked the Minister of Health if he will seek to require local authorities to provide a breakdown of the disabled register, as has been done by the London Borough of Lambeth, of which he has a copy.

Mr. Snow

My right hon. Friend is not satisfied that this would serve any useful purpose.

Mr. Morris

Is that the only comment which my hon. Friend can make about the important survey in Lambeth? Is not stronger advice from the Ministry needed?

Mr. Snow

So important does my right hon. Friend consider this matter to be that on his authority I interviewed an officer from Lambeth some months ago, but the discussion disclosed that the Lambeth exercise was not sufficiently objective. We are looking into other forms of securing the necessary information, but it is not likely to be a short-term exercise.