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Nursery Schoolchildren (Health Surveillance)

Volume 981: debated on Tuesday 18 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what information he has about which local authorities carry out regular health surveillance of children in nursery schools and classes and those which do not; and if he will list such information for 1978 and 1979.

The responsibility for carrying out health surveillance of children in nursery schools and classes passed from local education authorities to area health authorities under the provisions of the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973. The information requested is not held centrally.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the standard of health surveillance of children in nursery schools and classes; and whether he plans to seek to remove the variation that exists between different parts of the United Kingdom.

The duty laid down in section 5(1)(a) of the National Health Service Act 1977—

"to provide for the medical and dental inspection at appropriate intervals of pupils in attendance at schools maintained by local education authorities and for the medical and dental treatment of such pupils"
applies to nursery schools. Health authorities are well aware of the importance of a high standard of health surveillance but the provision they make must depend on the resources available for the whole range of community health services which they provide.