HC Deb 23 January 1985 vol 71 cc463-4W
Mr. Hunter

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether any additional assistance is to be made available to sufferers of cystic fibrosis in order to defray their costs caused by this condition; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Newton

We have no plans to do so. We consider that it is generally more appropriate to concentrate social security benefits for disabled people on helping all those with particular needs, rather than to single out particular types of disability.

Mr. Tony Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many specialist units for cystic fibrosis sufferers exist in England and Wales; how many and which of them are within the north-west region; what advantages flow from the operation of these units; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten

[pursuant to his reply, 21 January 1985, c. 348]: Information on units specialising in cystic fibrosis is not collected centrally, although I understand that within the north-western region consideration is being given to a regional unit for adult sufferers at Monsall hospital in north Manchester. The intensity of cystic fibrosis, and therefore its treatment, can vary, and there is some difference in medical opinion as to whether, for the majority of cases, any benefits arising from regional or other centres would outweigh the difficulties and disruption involved in treating children far from their homes. It is for health authorities, in consultation with the consultants concerned, to determine how best services for children and for older sufferers from cystic fibrosis should be organised and where they should be located.

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