§ Mr. Lomas
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many doctors acting for the attendance allowance unit are qualified in knowledge of mentally handicapped persons;
(2) if he will ensure that, when a case for constant attendance allowance comes before the constant attendance unit concerning mentally handicapped persons, especially children, the examining doctor is fully qualified in treating mental illness.
§ Mr. Dean
The responsibility for deciding whether in any individual case the medical requirements for the attendance allowance are satisfied rests with the Attendance Allowance Board whose membership includes a psychiatrist, a paediatrician and a psychiatric social worker. The National Insurance Act, 1970, empowers the board to delegate its functions in individual cases to registered medical practitioners and this it has done to about 200 doctors in the 10 English regional centres, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and my Department's central office at Blackpool, who work to the board's directions.