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Handicapped Persons

Volume 979: debated on Monday 25 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he intends to carry out work to update the national sample survey of 1969 on handicapped people in private households.

I have no plans to do so. The cost of updating the survey would be disproportionate to the present economic circumstances.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisfied that the present level of information on the numbers and needs of handicapped persons is sufficient for effective planning of services;(2) if he intends to review the experience of the Northern Ireland authorities in carrying out a 100 per cent. Province-wide survey of the location and needs of handicapped people with a view to implementing its methods on a national scale;(3) what research has been carried out by his Department or voluntary organisations assisted by his Department on methods of implementing section 1 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970; and whether he intends issuing fresh guidelines about how to implement the section at minimum cost.

The health service research unit of the University of Kent at Canterbury, supported by the Department and the national fund for research into crippling diseases, published a detailed report in 1978 entitled "Physically Disabled People Living at Home: a Study of Number and Needs". Copies were sent to all social service authorities.I look forward to studying the report of the Northern Ireland survey but I have no plans to commission such a survey on a national scale nor to issue further guidelines to authorities about section l of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act. It must be for individual authorities to decide what information they require for the efficient planning of their services and how to implement the section.