HC Deb 24 October 1972 vol 843 cc230-1W
52 and 53. Mr. Alfred Morris

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what consideration he has given to the National Association for the Welfare of Children in Hospital's recommendations to him on the question of costs to parents of visiting their children in hospital; what action he is taking; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if he will introduce legislation, as suggested to him by the National Association for the Welfare of Children in Hospital, to entitle the parents of children in hospital to financial assistance with their weekly travelling costs to and from the hospital where such costs exceed the scale of allowances for dependent children laid down by the Supplementary Benefits Commission; and if he will make a statement.

Sir K. Joseph

I am aware of this useful report, and have considered it. There are existing arrangements for giving help in cases of hardship, and in my view I would not be justified in seeking to extend them in the way proposed.

Voluntary help can sometimes be given, particularly by providing transport for visitors; I am at present consulting a number of organisations on this matter.