HC Deb 21 June 1972 vol 839 cc465-6
24. Mr. McElhone

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many assessment units there are at the present time for children's handicaps; and how many are planned in the next two years.

Mr. Monro

The assessment of handicapped children is undertaken by multi-disciplinary teams in hospital wards and out-patient departments and in local health authority premises in most areas of Scotland. One purpose-designed centre is in operation in adapted hospital premises in Dundee; two other hospital-based centres will be opened in Glasgow and Aberdeen later this year and in 1973, respectively. Assessment centres have also been provided by some local health authorities.

Mr. McElhone

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that he is telling the House that only three units are operating or are planned in Scotland? Is he aware that in a debate on the chronic sick and disabled—I quote from column 930 of the Official Report of 21st February this year—the Secretary of State for Social Services announced 38 new assessment centres for England and Wales and an extra £5 million for the chronic sick? Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that Scotland has been shabbily treated?

Mr. Monro

I cannot accept that, because the situation is different in Scotland and the programme to which the hon. Gentleman referred was specifically for England and Wales. The assessment of the handicapped is part of the normal service in hospital out-patient depart- ments, child welfare clinics and the school health service in Scotland. I believe that a good job is being done.