asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many hospitals or other establishments make bulk payments to patients of money held on their behalf in long-term balances.
Current guidance to health authorities on the management of patients' financial affairs makes it clear that hospitals should account for and disburse the money they hold on behalf of patients on an individual basis. This can include the payment of a lump sum to or on behalf of a patient to meet his individual requirements.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services which hospitals and other establishments maintain large deposits of patients' money in long-term balances; and when he expects to report on consultations in this area.
Information is not collected centrally on the size of patients' accounts held by individual hospitals. As I explained in my reply to the hon. Member for Isle of Ely (Mr. Freud) on 26 October—[Vol. 24, c. 384]—following the consultation document we issued last year, we are revising guidance to health authorities on the management of patients' financial affairs.