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Elderly People

Volume 129: debated on Tuesday 15 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will show, for each local authority in England, and the aggregate for the country, for each year from 1978–79 to 1986–87 (a) the number of whole-time equivalent home helps and the number per 1,000 population aged 75 years and over, and per 1,000 population aged 85 years and over, (b) the number of meals provided and the number per 1,000 population aged 75 years and over and per 1,000 population aged 85 years and over, (c) the number of home help hours provided per 1,000 population aged 75 years and over and per 1,000 population aged 85 years and over, (d) the number of whole-time equivalent social workers employed by social services departments per 1,000 population and (e) the number of day centre places per 1,000 population aged 75 years and over and per 1,000 population aged 85 years and over.

The table gives the information requested for the total provision in England of social workers, and the ratio per 1,000 population. It is not possible to give meaningful figures for home helps, home help hours, and meals per 1,000 population in particular age groups, since the proportion of the service provided which goes to these age groups is unknown.Information collected centrally on staff of social services departments and personal social services activities for each local authority is published on an annual basis in:

  • i. Staff of Local Authority Social Services Departments (S/F 1)
  • ii. Domiciliary Services — Meals, Aids and Adaptations (A/F 18)
  • iii. Adult training centres for Mentally Handicapped People and Day Centres for Mentally Ill, Elderly and Younger Physically Handicapped People (A/F 8).
  • Information collected by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy for each local authority is published annually in "Personal Social Services Statistics, Actuals".

    Copies of all these publications are available in the Library.

    Number of field social work staff (expressed as whole-time equivalent) and rate per thousand population, 1978–1986.

    As at 30 September

    Whole time equivalent (thousands)

    Number (wte) per thousand population (all ages)

    198722·20·48
    197922·70·49
    198023·00·49
    198123·00·49
    198223·00·49
    198323·70·51
    198424·30·52
    198524·80·53

    11986

    25·90·55

    1 provisional

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will show, for each district health authority in England, and the aggregate for the country, for each year from 1978–79 to 1986–87 (i) the number of whole-time equivalent district nurses per 1,000 population aged 75 years and over and per 1,000 population aged 85 years and over, and (ii) the number of whole-time equivalent chiropodists employed per 1,000 population aged 75 years and over and per 1,000 population aged 85 years and over.

    It is not meaningful to provide the ratios of staff to population in specific age groups as the staff provide care to patients of all ages.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the most recent information available to him on what proportion of elderly persons resident in the community are (a) housebound, (b) bedfast, (c) unable to negotiate stairs independently, (d) unable to bath or shower or wash all over alone, or (e) unable to go to the toilet unaided.

    The most recent information available is from the 1985 general household survey.Among those aged 65 and over included in the sample interviewed for the survey:

  • (a) 8·0 per cent. were not able to go out of doors.
  • (b) 1·9 per cent. needed help to get in and out of bed and 0·2 per cent. could not get in and out of bed at all.
  • (c) 3·6 per cent. needed help to negotiate stairs and 5·4 per cent. could not negotiate stairs at all.
  • (d) 7·3 per cent. needed help to bath, shower or wash all over and 1·3 per cent. could do none of these tasks at all.
  • (e) 1·2 per cent. needed help to get to the toilet and 0·5 per cent. could not get to the toilet at all.
  • The 1985 general household survey interviewed nearly 20,000 people aged 16 and over living in private households in Great Britain.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many elderly people received respite care in each local authority social service department during 1986–87.

    Information is not available in the form requested. The number of short-stay admissions to local authority homes during 1985–86, the latest year for which information is available, is given in table 11 of "Residential Accommodation for Elderly and for Younger Physically Handicapped People: All Residents in Local Authority, Voluntary and Private Homes Year ending 31 March 1986 England"; a copy of which is in the Library.