HL Deb 02 July 1982 vol 432 cc542-3WA
Baroness Fisher of Rednal

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will give details of any future developments which will provide better services for the deaf and blind who suffer their disabilities in addition to mental handicap or physical handicap;

Whether they have any plans for encouraging the establishment of special services for the 4 per cent. of residents in hospitals for the mentally handicapped who are blind or almost blind.

Lord Trefgarne

While there is specialised provision available within the NHS for multi-handicapped blind people, the voluntary sector also plays a key role in providing services for this group and my department has accordingly given financial assistance towards two residential centres for the deaf and blind multi-handicapped recently completed by voluntary bodies. Officials from my department are at present studying the special service needs of mentally handicapped people with additional disabilities, including those who are hearing or sight-impaired, to consider what further guidance would be helpful.