asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his policy concerning the availability of attendance allowance for people using self-care renal dialysis units in hospital.
I am pleased to announce that we intend to make attendance allowance available to people using self-care dialysis units on hospital sites on the same basis as is available to those who dialyse at home.
At present there are only a small number of such self-care units, in hospitals in the Wessex Region, where they are perceived to be an acceptable and economical way of enabling people with kidney failure to dialyse just as they would in their own homes, with assistance from another person who is not employed by the hospital. At present these people are denied attendance allowance.
We think it is wrong that the attendance allowance regulations should inhibit what some doctors believe to be a helpful extension in the availability of renal dialysis, unforeseen when the regulations were drafted. We shall therefore bring forward an amendment to the regulations following formal consultation with the Attendance Allowance Board.