Spectacles, Dentures and Wigs

Oral Answers to Questions — National Health Service – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th July 1949.

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Photo of Mr Luke Teeling Mr Luke Teeling , Brighton 12:00 am, 28th July 1949

asked the Minister of Health how many pairs of glasses and how many sets of false teeth and how many wigs have been provided in the last 12 months; and how many demands are still outstanding.

Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East

At a very rough estimate, about 4½ million pairs of spectacles have been supplied under the supplementary eye service and between three and four million pairs are on order. No information is available as to the number of dentures. Up to 20th May, 8,000 wigs were ordered and 2,600 supplied through the Ministry of Pensions, on the advice of specialists.

Photo of Mr Luke Teeling Mr Luke Teeling , Brighton

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in a recent communication which I have had from his Department it is stated that well over 5 million pairs of spectacles have been provided in the last 12 months? Are the figures that he has given quite accurate? Is he trying to keep the number down? Will the hon. Gentleman say whether those figures are in accordance with the estimates that were expected? Obviously they are becoming far more. Will he say what likelihood there is of people obtaining these wigs, spectacles and dentures?

Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East

There is a very good chance, a far better chance than they had before, when they had very little opportunity of getting any of this service from hon. Gentlemen opposite.