HC Deb 14 October 1968 vol 770 cc53-4W
Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the Minister of Health when, after what considerations and in what Report the Central Health Services Council in accordance with Section 2(1) of the National Health Services Act 1946 advised him to recommend local authorities to add sodium fluoride to their water supplies.

Mr. K. Robinson

At their meeting on 5th June, 1962, the Central Health Services Council endorsed the advice of the Standing Medical and Standing Dental Advisory Committees, constituted under Section 2 of the National Health Service Act 1946, to take action to promote the general adoption of fluoridation. This advice was given after consideration by all three bodies of the five-year Report on the Conduct of Fluoridation Studies in the United Kingdom. In addition, when reaching its conclusion, the Standing Medical Advisory Committee had before it the recommendation of a joint subcommittee of the Standing Medical Advisory Committees for England, Wales and Scotland, which examined relevant data from this and other countries as well as the five-year Report. A full statement is contained in paragraphs 12 to 24 of the Annual Report of the Central Health Services Council for the year ending 31st December, 1962.

Mr. Lubbock

asked the Minister of Health what progress is being made with the fluoridation of water supplies.

Mr. K. Robinson

Fluoridated water has been supplied for some years in Anglesey, Watford and Birmingham. I am pleased to say that since April of this year five more fluoridation schemes have started, one in Lincolnshire, two in Warwickshire, one covering parts of Worcestershire and Warwickshire and one covering the whole of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Gateshead and parts of Northumberland and County Durham. The total population receiving fluoridated water in England and Wales now exceeds 2 million.

I have recently written to local health authorities urging those who have not already done so to adopt this valuable preventive health measure as soon as possible. In order to assist authorities and to demonstrate my complete faith in the efficacy and safety of fluoridation, I have abandoned the time limit attached to my offer to indemnify local health authorities and statutory water undertakers against the cost of proceedings brought on the grounds of injury to health alleged to have been caused by fluoridation. Previously the indemnity was limited to proceedings started before 3rd August, 1970.