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Volume 14: debated on Tuesday 8 December 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many wheelchairs were on issue from his Department in the last year for which figures are available; and what is his estimate of the number of people in the United Kingdom who use a wheelchair regularly.

At the end of April 1981 there were 296,996 wheelchairs and so on on issue in England from the Department. This figure includes all the wheeled equipment supplied under the wheelchair service—for example, such things as baby buggies and cycles as well as conventional wheelchairs. We have no reliable estimate of the number of people regularly using a wheelchair some of which are, of course, purchased privately.