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Handicapped Persons

Volume 961: debated on Monday 22 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will bring forward legislation to provide for the compulsory registration of all handicapped persons by the medical profession as is the practice in most European countries.

Separate registration systems are operated by local authority social services departments and, for employment purposes, by the Manpower Services Commission. In the case of local authority registers, I have been strongly advised by organisations of and for disabled people that two principles should be respected in all registration procedures—first, that registration should be on a voluntary basis; and, secondly, that information collected should be treated as confidential between the authority concerned and the individual. The extent of disadvantage or handicap resulting from a disability depends upon personal, social and environmental circumstances and cannot properly be determined on medical factors alone.As far as registration for employment services is concerned, although the Government have no plans to introduce compulsory registration the matter will be considered by the Manpower Services Commission as part of their review of the quota system.