Mr. Joseph Hyland (Mobility Allowance)

Oral Answers to Questions — Oral Answers to Questions – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th February 1978.

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Photo of Mr Frank Allaun Mr Frank Allaun , Salford East 12:00 am, 7th February 1978

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why Mr. Joseph Hyland of Salford, the whole of whose leg was amputated last May, is still not receiving a mobility allowance.

Photo of Mr Alf Morris Mr Alf Morris , Manchester Wythenshawe

It was an independent medical board that decided on 24th November 1977 that Mr. Hyland was not entitled to the allowance. Mr. Hyland has now appealed to a medical appeal tribunal against this decision. Arrangements are being made for the appeal to be considered as quickly as possible.

Photo of Mr Frank Allaun Mr Frank Allaun , Salford East

Is the Minister aware that this young engineer had his whole leg amputated because of cancer and that he cannot wear an artificial leg because he is now undergoing X-ray treatment on his hip and is immobile? Will this humane Minister reconsider the matter and have another look at this inhumane decision?

Photo of Mr Alf Morris Mr Alf Morris , Manchester Wythenshawe

I can understand my hon. Friend's feelings on this matter. He takes a very close and genuine interest in the whole question of helping disabled people. The vital question to be answered is whether the individual is virtually unable to walk—

Photo of Mr Alf Morris Mr Alf Morris , Manchester Wythenshawe

—with any of the aids normally available to him. The case has gone to the medical appeal tribunal. I am sure that my hon. Friend will agree that it is to the credit of this Government that they have introduced an independent appeals procedure. The previous system was one of ministerial diktat, which I am glad has been abolished.

Photo of Mr Hugh McCartney Mr Hugh McCartney , Dunbartonshire Central

Will my hon. Friend inform the House of the number of persons now in receipt of mobility benefits?

Photo of Mr Alf Morris Mr Alf Morris , Manchester Wythenshawe

At the last date for which figures are available—the end of January 1978–64,304 people were in receipt of the new mobility allowance.