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Impairments, Disabilities And Handicaps (Definitions)

Volume 22: debated on Thursday 22 April 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that the definition of mental impairment in the Mental Health (Amendment) Bill conforms with the World Health Organisation definitions in the international classification of impairments, disabilities and handicaps; and if he will make a statement.

Yes. The term was taken from that organisation's international classification of impairments, disabilities and handicaps and is defined in the Bill

Number of Patients on In-Patient Waiting List at 30 September 1981 Walsall area health authority
UrgentNon-Urgent
SpecialtyAll casesCases on list for more than one monthAll casesCases on list for more than one yearTotal of all cases
General Medicine
Paediatrics
Chest Diseases
Dermatology
Neurology
Cardiology
Rehabilitation
Genito Urinary Medicine
Rheumatology
Geriatrics723772
Younger Disabled
General Surgery51,2297071,234
ENT531,1687741,173
Trau & Orth325255255
Ophthalmology12212
Radiotherapy
Urology
Plastic Surgery
Thoracic Surgery
Oral Surgery74674
Orthodontics
Neurosurgery

So as to provide for the very small group of mentally handicapped people for whom it is generally agreed that powers of detention may be needed.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he has taken to promote the World Health Organisation definitions in the international classification of impairments, disabilities and handicaps.

While the classification provides an extremely useful framework for the discussion of disablement, further work has to be done before it could be used as a basis for collecting statistics. The Department's research liaison groups are encouraging researchers to explore ways in which the classification system can be used in their work. It has been described in an article in "Health Trends", which is published by the Department and circulated, among others, to every doctor under contract to the NHS. And the international seminar on the prevention of disablement, sponsored by the Department last November, included a presentation by Dr. Philip Wood which took account of the classification.