§ Mr. Bishop
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is aware of the shortage of speech therapists in Nottinghamshire ; what vacancies exist ; what action he is taking to ensure better speech therapy facilities for the mentally handicapped and others, especially in Newark and district ; and what action he is taking following publication of the report of Professor Randolph Quirk.
§ Mr. Alison
In the absence of generally accepted staffing standards need is difficult to quantify, but I understand that employing authorities in Nottinghamshire would currently like to employ five more speech therapists. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science announced in May—[Vol. 856, c.276]—the Government's acceptance of the Quirk Report's recommendations that the speech therapy service should be unified and organised under area health authorities in England 242W and Wales and under health boards in Scotland. The report's other wide-ranging recommendations, including those relating to the provision of speech therapy facilities, are being studied in the light of comments received from many interested organisations and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services hopes to make a statement next month.