§ Mr. Whitehead
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he intends to introduce the new regulations under section 2 of the Social Security Act 1979 on payment of attendance allowance for kidney failure patients being treated by dialysis.
§ Mr. Alfred Morris
We have today laid the necessary regulations before the House. They will come into effect on Monday 2 April 1979 and provide that kidney failure patients who dialyse regularly at least twice a week at home will be regarded as satisfying the attendance requirements for the lower rate of the allowance. The regulations also provide that people who dialyse as out-patients at NHS hospitals will not have their attendance needs during that dialysis taken into account. They will still be able to qualify for the allowance, however, if they have sufficient attendance needs when at home.
In addition, the regulations help a number of people who claim the allowance again having previously lost it because of temporary improvement. If they last received the allowance within the previous two years, and are now likely to need attendance for at least six months, they will be able to receive the allowance immediately without serving a further six months' qualifying period.