§ Baroness FISHER of REDNAL
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they are aware of the conclusions arising from a survey of multiple handicapped blind children in the West Midland Health Region, which indicated:
- (i) a gross under-estimate of visual handicap associated with mental handicap in DHSS returns;
- (ii) a high incidence of additional handicaps associated with blindness;
- (iii) a lack of services for such multiple handicapped children.
Lord CULLEN of' ASHBOURNE
The Government are aware of the survey. It is recognised that the DHSS returns, based upon numbers registered with local authorities, do not represent the true total of such multiple-handicapped children, in part because many children in hospitals are not so registered. However, the provision of health and local authority services is not dependent upon registration, and any understatement of numbers is not in itself evidence of a lack of suitable care and training at local level.