asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what accommodation is being provided for the care of aged people, incapable of looking after themselves and who do not require the services of trained nurses.
Local authorities have a duty under Section 21 of the National Assistance Act to provide residential accommodation for aged people who require care and attention which they cannot get in any other way. The authorities are to carry out this duty in accordance with schemes approved by the Secretary of State. The schemes so far received show that local authorities are anxious to make headway; but present restrictions on building limit developments mainly to the adaptation of existing properties.
Is the Secretary of State aware of the widespread indignation in the City of Glasgow because of the delay in trying to solve this very serious problem?
The City of Glasgow, of course, has a great many problems of building. It has houses, hospitals and feeding centres to build, and this is just one of the many problems which are dependent upon the progress of the building trade.
Has the right hon. Gentleman received the reports, which he indicated would reach him by mid-April, from local authorities on this problem of accommodation for aged people, which I raised some time ago; and has he any evidence to show that the old people will, at a reasonably early date, get this accommodation, which they need so very much?
That is still being investigated. The problem which the hon. Gentleman raised was that of the sick aged people, who come under the regional hospital board. I am going to try to get together all the bodies responsible for the old people to see whether all the different agencies can be fitted in.