Handicapped Children and Young People (Education, Health and Welfare Services)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th June 1966.

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Photo of Mr James Dickens Mr James Dickens , Lewisham West 12:00 am, 27th June 1966

asked the Minister of Health when the reviews being undertaken by local authorities in response to Circular 7/66, Co-ordination of Education, Health and Welfare Services for Handicapped Children and Young People, will be complete.

Photo of Mr Charles Loughlin Mr Charles Loughlin , Gloucestershire West

Reports are asked for by 30th September.

Photo of Mr James Dickens Mr James Dickens , Lewisham West

Is my hon. Friend aware that the provision for handicapped children, especially for mentally handicapped children, in my constituency in general is utterly inadequate? Would he please do what he can, after 30th September to expedite consideration of this review and take early subsequent action?

Photo of Mr Charles Loughlin Mr Charles Loughlin , Gloucestershire West

This question obviously relates to the general review. I have no information at my fingertips about the hon. Gentleman's constituency, but I can assure him that we are very concerned about this question, and that is the reason why we issued this Circular in conjunction with the Department of Education and Science, and asked for reports so quickly.

Photo of Mr Evelyn King Mr Evelyn King , South Dorset

Would the Minister bear in mind that many physically handicapped persons can earn their living only in the intellectual capacity, and that they are prevented from going to universities and other places of education, not on mental grounds, but because of the lack of lifts and ramps? Would he use his influence to bring that point before those who design educational buildings?

Photo of Mr Charles Loughlin Mr Charles Loughlin , Gloucestershire West

I will take note of what the hon. Gentleman says.

Photo of Mr Roland Moyle Mr Roland Moyle , Lewisham North

Is the Minister aware that this has been a totally neglected subject hitherto and that many people are looking forward to the completion of this review in the hope of securing relief? Will he, therefore, press it to a conclusion at the earliest possible opportunity?

Photo of Mr Charles Loughlin Mr Charles Loughlin , Gloucestershire West

I agree with my hon. Friend, but we cannot press the review to an early conclusion prior to receipt of the reports. Once these reports are available—there will be the possibility of having to grant extensions, for a short period of time to some local authorities—I can assure my hon. Friend that we shall act very quickly.