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Volume 927: debated on Tuesday 8 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to receive the report of the survey carried out on wheelchair users.

The report of a survey commissioned by the Department and carried out by the Office of Population, Censuses and Surveys has been published by HMSO today. A copy of the Report "Wheelchairs and their users" has been placed in the Library and hon. Members can obtain a copy through the Vote Office.The Department's aim was to find out what disabled people were looking for in a wheelchair, what criticisms they had of the wheelchairs provided and of the wheelchair service generally, as well as to collect personal data about wheelchair users. It was limited to adults of 18 and over in England and Wales using a non-powered wheelchair. This is the first time a survey in depth of this magnitude, covering over 1,000 users, has been carried out in this field. I am sure the report will be of immense value to all those in this country and elsewhere concerned with mobility aids. This applies particularly to the personal data including anthropometric measurement.I am personally gratified to note that over 90 per cent. of those with wheelchairs from the Department were either satisfied or very satisfied with both the wheelchair and the service. The report also contains helpful pointers to ways in which they might both be further improved. These include certain design features, lack of cushions, length of delivery period, and inadequate instruction in the use of the chair. These pointers will be of great help to us in ensuring that we give the best service within the available resources. Already steps have been taken to shorten the delivery periods, and a recent sampling exercise suggests that these are now much shorter than when the survey was carried out. We also have in hand a radical improvement in the quality of the instruction booklet.Although the survey was limited to adults many of the findings are applicable

Retirement Pension per cent.Widowed Mother's Allowance per cent.Widow's Pension per cent.
By number of beneficiaries—
proportion paid 4 weekly3·22·62·6
proportion paid quarterly4·20·41·3
By value of benefit—
proportion paid 4 weekly*2·42·4
proportion paid quarterly*0·31·0
* Proportions by value are not available for retirement pension.