asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth on 24 July, if he will confirm that the general target level for provision of residential accommodation for the elderly remains at 25 places per 1,000 population over 65 years and that no other general or particular guidelines have been issued to local authorities.
The ratio of 25 residential places per 1,000 population over 65 years is a guideline not a target-It dates back to 1972. As indicated in more general guidance, the level of local provision needs to be determined by local authorities in the light of local circumstances.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why, in view of the fact that he informed the hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth on 24 July that information was not available about existing numbers of residential places for the elderly provided by local authorities, such information is provided annually to his Department by all local authorities on forms RA1 to RA4 and published internally by the Department; and to what use this information is put.
I suggested to the hon. Member that she should obtain locally rather than from me the information she had asked for. The information held centrally is used primarily for planning and monitoring the development of services over the country as a whole.