HC Deb 01 July 1954 vol 529 cc118-9W
63. Mr. Hastings

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that a number of children admitted to institutions for the mentally deficient have been proved to be suffering from deafness only; and whether, in view of the improved methods now available for the recognition and treatment of deafness in children, he will give instructions that every child admitted to an institution for the mentally retarded who appears to be hard of hearing shall be examined by an aural specialist on admission and not less than once every five years during childhood.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I know of a few such cases, but I do not consider that instructions on the lines suggested would be helpful. My officers have recently reviewed the circumstances in which handicapped persons, especially the deaf, may be admitted to mental or mental deficiency hospitals. I understand that there is increasing medical interest in this subject and that some research is being carried out.

I am confident that the medical staff of mental deficiency hospitals make use of improved techniques as they are developed and arrange for examination by other specialists according to their patients' needs.