§ 5. Mr. David Renton
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that spectacles were ordered last April for the five-year old son of Mr. A. R. Wright, of 7, Old Court Hall, Godmanchester, Huntingdon; that the case is an urgent 501 one; that the boy is still without his spectacles; and when he may expect to receive them.
§ Mr. Renton
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this a National Health Service case? I gave him as many particulars as I could and, bearing in mind that the child is severely handicapped in his education, will the right hon. Gentleman do his best to see that the child gets spectacles if I let him have the fullest information?
§ 7. Mr. John E. Haire
asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that the General Optical Company, Clerkenwell Road, has still not delivered spectacle lenses ordered by the National Health Service last January and February; and if he will take steps to see that no more orders are placed with this firm until it has greatly reduced the delay.
§ Mr. Bramall
Could my right hon. Friend say what progress is being made in the discussions with the trade which he said were taking place in this connection when he replied to a Question which I asked?
§ 12. Sir David Robertson
asked the Minister of Health the reason for the continued delay in supplying spectacles to Fiona and Morag Duncan, schoolchildren in Streatham, of whom particulars have been supplied to him, whose health is suffering because they are compelled to use spectacles which are no longer suitable.
§ Sir D. Robertson
Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that these children have been waiting nearly a year for their spectacles and does he also realise, from correspondence I have passed to him, that the children are ill? Does he further realise that his Parliamentary Secretary told me two-and-a-half months ago that all the parents had to do was to keep in touch with the optician? They have done that ever since and the situation really is thoroughly unsatisfactory.
§ 23. Mr. Sutcliffe
asked the Minister of Health what is now the present average length of time between the order and delivery of a pair of spectacles.
§ Mr. Sutcliffe
Does the right hon. Gentleman fully realise the seriousness of this position, that there are, for instance, considerable numbers of schoolchildren, normally intelligent children who attend school every day, who are yet unable to 503 read or write because they have no spectacles, and whose whole future is thus seriously prejudiced? When shall we have some improvement in the length of time?
§ Brigadier Prior-Palmer
Is it the fact that the delay is due to the inadequate import of lenses from abroad? Is that the bottleneck?