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Convalescent Places

Volume 958: debated on Tuesday 14 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what advice is issued by his Department to doctors in general practice and in the hospitals of the National Health Service about the availability of convalescent places for women.

None. Over the last 20 years, for women as for men, the trend has been for traditional convalescence facilities to be replaced by active rehabilitation in rehabilitation departments.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many places there are currently in convalescent homes for men and women respectively; how many in each category have been taken up each year over the last five years; what was the average length of stay; and how many patients were unable to find a place because of pressure on the available beds;(2) if he will give, region by region, the number of convalescent places available to each; and, of these, how many are provided by the National Health Service and by private or voluntary bodies, respectively.

The average number of available convalescent beds in 1977 was as follows:

East Anglia110
North-West Thames70
North-East ThamesNil
South-East Thames101
South-West ThamesNil
West Midlands90
Boards of Governors (London)40
The figures relate to beds available for patients recovering from a disability who no longer require active medical supervision or nursing care in bed, although they may need simple nursing procedures. They also relate to beds only in convalescent departments, annexes or homes and exclude any beds in general wards used from time to time for convalescent patients.In addition, there were on average 100 convalescent beds in institutions outside
Year ended 31st March 1975Year ended 31st March 197631st Year ended March 1977
Northern region4,1375,0376,049
Yorkshire and Humberside4,6485,2755,754
West Midlands5,8298,7825,953
East Midlands5,0755,1664,712
London North3,8593,7663,181
London region61,13254,98149,882
England Total99,61495,50486,356
This information cannot be broken down between men and women, nor is it possible to give the average length of stay. As far as is known, the numbers of holidays taken were not affected by availability of beds.
Note: 1977 figures are provisional.

the NHS which were occupied by NHS patients under contractual arrangements made by health authorities. The total number of convalescent beds as defined above provided by private or voluntary bodies is not known to my Department. The average occupancy of the 843 available NHS convalescent beds in 1977 was 77 per cent. Deaths and discharges totalled 15,164 and average length of stay was 14·4 days. No information is available centrally about the number and take-up of convalescent beds for men and women separately.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many places are available for recuperative holidays for men and women, respectively; of these, how many have been taken up each year for the last five years; what was the average length of stay; and how many men and women were unable to obtain a place because of pressure on the available beds;(2) if he will give the number of places for recuperative holidays in each region.

Information is not collected centrally in respect of recuperative holidays, but local authority social services departments have the power to provide holidays for elderly and handicapped people under the National Assistance Act 1948 and the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. The numbers of people aged 16 and over in England who are assisted with holidays for the years ended 31st March 1975, 1976 and 1977, the latest date for which figures are available, are as set out below. Owing to the reorganisation of local authorities in 1974, comparable figures for earlier years are not available.