HC Deb 23 November 1979 vol 974 cc390-1W
Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will introduce a scheme to assist the parents of handicapped children with travelling costs involved in visiting them at long-stay hospitals.

Sir George Young

No. I recognise the importance of encouraging visits by parents of handicapped children being cared for in long-stay hospitals, but it would not be justifiable to make special financial provision for visiting a particular category of patients. Parents not in full-time employment whose income after payment of travelling expenses for visiting is below their requirements by supplementary benefit standards may seek help from the Supplementary Benefits Commission. For parents in full-time work, but with low incomes, the Supplementary Benefits Commission may very exceptionally help with the cost of an emergency journey.