HC Deb 16 October 1973 vol 861 cc20-1
26. Mr. Jessel

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will arrange under the National Health Service Reorganisation Act for regular medical and dental provision for children in both local authority and private schools.

Mr. Alison

Yes, Sir. I shall ask the new area health authorities to continue to provide medical and dental inspection and treatment services for children in schools maintained by local education authorities and, so far as resources permit, in other schools when the proprietors or governing bodies wish to use those services.

Mr. Jessel

Will my hon. Friend say a little more about what he means by "so far as resources permit"? Does he not agree that it would be equitable for children of both private and State schools to receive equivalent treatment and facilities?

Mr. Alison

The provision of medical and dental inspection and treatment services in private schools is, in the first place, a matter for the proprietors or governors of those schools. Some have arranged with local education authorities to provide such services and the new area health authorities will continue these arrangements. In the last analysis the health authorities must have regard to the staff at their disposal and the first priority must obviously go to the State sector.