asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he is proposing in relation to the inspection and registration of homes for the elderly.
Regulations to improve and strengthen the powers of local authorities in carrying out their responsibilities for the registration and inspection of these homes were brought into force on 1 January 1985. The Department's social work service is carrying out a study which initially is designed to establish the cost to authorities of doing this work effectively.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received concerning the withdrawal of local authority sponsorship from elderly people already living in residential accommodation; and if he will make a statement.
We have received a few representations through the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and direct from organisations running homes. There is no legal obligation on local authorities to provide residential care for every person who needs it; in deciding priorities for available resources, they take account of other sources of funding, including supplementary benefit, available to those in need of such care. The desirability of sponsorship is a matter for the particular local authority to decide in an individual case.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the increase in demand for personal social services by the increasing number of very old people.
The Government have recognised that demographic changes nationally are placing pressures upon personal social services and have made allowance for this in the indicative expenditure figures for their service published in the 1985 public expenditure White Paper (Cmnd. 9428).