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Rehabilitation Centres

Volume 650: debated on Thursday 30 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Labour what system operates at rehabilitation centres to provide a channel of communication between rehabilitees and management so that complaints and suggestions may be properly ventilated.

A rehabilitee may at any time ask his supervisor to arrange an interview with any member of the staff. He is told this in person when he arrives and also in an explanatory leaflet, a copy of which I am sending the hon. Member.

asked the Minister of Labour why protective gloves are not automatically available to persons doing engineering work at rehabilitation centres; and if he will take steps to ensure that they are provided.

There are no bench or machine operations in industrial rehabilitation units in which the use of gloves is regarded as sound industrial practice or is required by Safety Regulations. If such operations are introduced, provision will be made for supply of approved industrial gloves. Rehabilitees suffering from skin diseases or with a history of skin diseases are not permitted by the medical officers to undertake exercises in which their hands may come into contact with substances—e.g. mineral oils—likely to aggravate or revive the condition.

asked the Minister of Labour how the standard of aptitude tests for rehabilitation centres is determined; and if he is satisfied that they ensure fair opportunities to people of lower educational attainment.

The tests are varied to suit individual requirements by the industrial psychologists at the centres. In so doing, they take into account educational attainment and I am satisfied the system works fairly.

asked the Minister of Labour why no qualified gymnast is in post at the Handsworth, Birmingham, rehabilitation unit; and what arrangements are proposed to ensure that physical exercise is available there to those who need it.

There is a general shortage of remedial gymnasts and despite continued advertising and other efforts, we have been unable to fill this post since the former occupant resigned a year ago. On medical advice the gymnasium has been closed as it is considered unwise to allow its use in the absence of suitable supervision. It will be re-opened as soon as this again becomes available.