§ Mr. Alfred Morris
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received from the south Manchester group of the National Association for Welfare of Children in Hospital; what action he is taking; if such action will be of help to other groups assisting parents with children in hospital; and if he will make a statement.
§ Sir George Young
The south Manchester group of the National Association48W for the Welfare of Children in Hospital wrote to my right hon. Friend on 22 June about the difficulties faced by some parents in visiting their children in Wythenshawe hospital. The group asked for financial assistance to enable it to continue to operate the transport scheme which it has developed. While I recognise the advantages of such a scheme there is no provision by which health authorities can pay for hospital visitors' travelling expenses.
However, there is provision by which local authorities can assist with the development of transport schemes and such schemes can also be funded under joint financing arrangements. In fact in the 1979–80 Manchester joint financing programme £25,000 has been identified for the purchase of vehicles and equipment for the Wythenshawe neighbourhood transport executive.