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Bifida And Hydrocephalus

Volume 938: debated on Thursday 10 November 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the thesis by Roger Bayston on Bacterial Colonisation of Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunting Devices for the Control and Treatment of Hydrocephalus.

Mr. Roger Bayston is a research fellow financed by the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. I understand that his findings have already led to improved procedures being carried out with patients who have these shunts ; and that work is continuing on ways of preventing bacterial colonisation. I shall be following developments in this field with interest.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what developments and how much money has been devoted in the last three years to the problem of children born with spina bifida and/ or hydrocephalus.

It is not possible to say how much money has been spent on help to children with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus, since the statistical data collected is not analysed by reference to specific handicap. One of the major developments in help to handicapped children, including those suffering from spina bifiida and/or hydrocephalus, over the past few years, has been the introduction of mobility allowance. In addition, many local authorities have continued to improve both the quality and quantity of personal social services available to these children and their families.

Moreover, my Department has supported in the past three years various research studies of relevance to children with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus and their families. The total cost of the various projects cannot readily be determined since some form part of a wider programme looking at other conditions.

My hon. Friend will also wish to know that I recently approved a general grant of £12,000 a year, for three years, to the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, as well as a specific grant of £13,750, spread over two and a half years, to help the setting up of the Association's regional field work service.