HC Deb 01 December 1971 vol 827 cc415-7
3. Mr. McElhone

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will detail in the OFFICIAL REPORT which authorities in Scotland have complied with Section 3 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, 1970.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Gordon Campbell)

Yes, Sir.

Mr. McElhone

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that from my own knowledge only two authorities in Scotland have built houses especially for handicapped people? In accepting the figure of 108,000 adults who are substantially permanently handicapped, would he not agree that his Department should take urgent action to urge local authorities to build houses of this kind?

Mr. Campbell

The hon. Gentleman is referring to the address I gave and answers to questions at a meeting of the Disablement Income Group, Scotland, which I helped to found six years ago. I agree that a great deal needs to be done. My office is doing a great deal, and over a year ago I sent two circulars to local authorities on this matter.

Mr. Carmichael

Is the Secretary of State aware that because of the additional strain placed upon them by the economic situation, many local authority social work departments are over worked? Therefore, will he consider the possibility of a special survey, paid for by the Scottish Office but under the control of local authorities, to expedite the registration of the disabled and examination of their problems, so that we can have a full grasp of the extent of the problem in Scotland?

Mr. Campbell

I am glad to say that the Government's social survey was announced by the previous Government in October, 1967, in answer to a Question put down by me when I was pressing for such a survey at that time. The survey supplied the information which provided the figure of 108,000 in Scotland. It has been a very valuable survey. Local authorities have been given all this information and have been asked to play their part.

Following is the information:

Five schemes, from three local authorities, for the provision of purpose-built dwellings for the disabled have been submitted since the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, 1970, came into force: these came from Coatbridge, Eye-mouth and Inverness. Housing authorities do not require my consent to carry out adaptations to make existing houses suitable for the disabled, and I know that a great deal is being done in this way.

4. Mr. James White

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals have been made for the provision of an assessment unit for the chronic sick and disabled in Glasgow or any other part of Scotland.

The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Education, Scottish Office (Mr. Hector Monro)

The Western Regional Hospital Board is consulting local interests about the possibility of establishing an assessment unit at Cowglen Hospital, Glasgow.

Mr. White

I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman for that answer, since Cowglen is in my constituency and offers all the facilities that are needed.

Mr. Monro

I hope the work will start in 1973. I accept that it is essential we should have this unit in the hon. Gentleman's constituency.

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