Skip to main content

Patient Care

Volume 951: debated on Tuesday 13 June 1978

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in the light of the fact that more patients are leaving hospital for care in the community, what action he has taken to ensure that funds are transferred to local authorities so that patients do not fail immediately they are left alone in the community.

The further discussion of the Government's priorities in the health and personal social services, set out last autumn in "The Way Forward" recognised that adjustment of the balance between hospital and community care will be gradual and slow. Progress will vary from place to place, and where the pace is slow the hospital service should continue to make provision.Nationally the objective is a balanced development of both health and personal services, expenditure on which is reviewed annually in the public expenditure survey in the light of the latest assessment 14 the growth that the economy can sustain. Locally, effective joint planning between health and local authorities is vital: to facilitate this, since 1976 the financial allocations to health authorities have contained amounts separately identified for the joint financing with local authorities of selected personal social services projects which make a special contribution to total care. In 1977 arrangements were introduced to make the system more flexible, with provision for health authorities to extend their contributions over a longer period, and in 1977–78 health authorities are estimated to have spent £19·5 million on jointly financed projects this is planned to increase to £40 million by 1980–81—both figures at 1977–78 out-turn price levels.