Patient-operated Selector Mechanism

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th July 1966.

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Photo of Mr John Tilney Mr John Tilney , Liverpool Wavertree 12:00 am, 4th July 1966

asked the Minister of Health (1) what his plans are for the research team responsible for the production in recent years of the patient-operated selector mechanism at Stoke Mandeville to carry on their research;

(2) whether he will make available the patient-operated selector mechanism to those who are paralysed through polio or road accidents in order that they may live a useful life at home and thereby free beds in hospitals.

Photo of Mr Charles Loughlin Mr Charles Loughlin , Gloucestershire West

My right hon. Friend is arranging to supply this mechanism to suitable patients under the National Health Service. He is ready to consider any proposals for further research in this field.

Photo of Mr John Tilney Mr John Tilney , Liverpool Wavertree

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this nine-man team—whose product, for which there is considerable export demand, has virtually enabled useless bodies to become taxpayers—which leads the world in medical engineering, had to leave Stoke Mandeville last week because the grant from the Polio Research Fund has come to an end? What aid can the hon. Gentleman give the team, which is now financing itself?

Photo of Mr Charles Loughlin Mr Charles Loughlin , Gloucestershire West

When the hon. Gentleman looks at my reply tomorrow, he will find that we are ready to consider any proposal for further research. The leader of the learn has already been invited by officials of my Department to put forward proposals which will merit support from research funds under our control.

Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Essex South East

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that although one in three of the permanently disabled now in hospital could leave and go home, due in part to the developments mentioned by my hon. Friend, thus reducing pressure on hospital resources, they are unable to do so because of the absence of adequate help in the home? Does not that reinforce the argument, advanced from these benches last week, for a constant attendance allowance? Can the hon. Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend to discuss this matter with the Chancellor of the Exchequer?

Photo of Mr Charles Loughlin Mr Charles Loughlin , Gloucestershire West

If the hon. Gentleman wants an answer on those other issues, he must put down a Question. We have entered into a contract with the team mentioned in reply to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Wavertree (Mr. Tilney) for the production and maintenance of a number of units. We have offered to meet the team to discuss what research assistance we can give. I do not know what more we can do.

Photo of Mr John Tilney Mr John Tilney , Liverpool Wavertree

On a point of order. As the leader of the team was unaware last Friday night of what the hon. Gentleman has just said, I give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible moment.

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

Notice must be given in the conventional way.