asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many applications for constant attendance allowance have been received from residents in Scotland, and how many have been successful.
Up to 14th December some 10,000 applications for attendance allowance had been received in Scotland, 7,600 had been dealt with and in 4,000 the medical conditions had been found to be satisfied at the initial stage. Separate figures of successful applications for review are not available for Scotland.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisfied that the form used for an application for attendance allowance is satisfactory, and that adequate instructions have been given to doctors as to the information they should supply on it; and if he will make a statement.
If my hon. Friend is aware of any particular point of difficulty and will let me know of it I shall be glad to pass it on to the Attendance Allowance Board, which is responsible for the procedures and forms involved in collecting medical evidence.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many of those receiving the first payment of the attendance allowance are over 65 years of age, between five and 18 years of age and under 18 years of age, respectively; how many in each category have a physical disability; and how many have a mental disability.
Figures are available relating to numbers of awards of attendance allowances made, and analysed, up to 10th December in respect of disabled adults aged 65 and over, those aged 16 to 64, and children aged 2 to 15: they are approximately 19,000, 17,000 and 13,000, respectively. Separate figures relating to the physically and mentally disabled are not available.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will invite the Attendance Allowance Board to advise him on how the criteria which determine the eligibility of an applicant should be redefined to prevent anomalies; and if he will prepare amending legislation.
I would refer the hon. Member to my reply earlier today to the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe) and others.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what complaints he has received about the effectiveness of the application form for the attendance allowance; and what action he is taking to improve the form so that the Attendance Allowance Board is receiving all the information it requires;(2) if he will request the Attendance Allowance Board's advice on the preparation of a new application form for attendance allowance; and if he will issue such forms as soon as possible;(3) if he will circularise general practitioners with advice on the best means of providing relevant information required by the Attendance Allowance Board;(4) if he will request general practitioners to make a special visit to applicants to discuss a patient's disability before an attendance allowance form is completed by the doctor; and if he will make an additional payment to the general practitioners for doing so;(5) if he will request the Attendance Allowance Board to ask for an automatic second medical opinion and a further review by the Board whenever the first request for attendance allowance is rejected.
These are all matters for the Attendance Allowance Board and I shall bring the hon. Member's suggestions to its notice.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will request the Attendance Allowance Board to inform local authorities of all those receiving the attendance allowance; and if he will request local authorities to contact all those receiving the attendance allowance if they have not already done so, to see if they require any additional services.
The award of an attendance allowance is confidential to the claimant and that confidence must be respected both by the board and by my Department. But arrangements are being made for a copy of the national booklet on services for handicapped people, when it becomes available in the spring, to be sent to all those then receiving an attendance allowance and to subsequent claimants to the allowance.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT the number of claims for attendance allowances that have been submitted and accepted, respectively, in the Midlands Region to the latest convenient date; and how these figures compare with other regions.
I would refer the hon. Member to my hon. Friend's reply to the hon. Member for Whitehaven (Dr. John A. Cunningham) today.