asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the latest average weekly subsidy per head paid by his Department for the care of the elderly in private residential and nursing homes for the elderly.
Our records do not identify separately payments made to the elderly in homes for the elderly. However, the most recent provisional figures indicate that in December 1983 the average weekly payment of supplementary pension—which is paid to people over pension age—in residential care and nursing homes was £75·25.
Will the Minister recognise the concern at the large growth in private nursing homes, and will he ensure that adequate resources are given to local authorities to inspect and control these homes? Will he also ensure that local authorities have adequate capital and revenue resources to provide sufficient sheltered and residential accommodation for all our people who should have this provided by local authorities?
The hon. Gentleman will know that we are anxious to have a proper balance of provision as between all the providers and that we have recently taken new steps to improve the registration and inspection of homes. I am sure that he will agree with that.