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Social Services: Coastal Areas

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1516W, on social services: coastal areas, (1) if he will make it his policy centrally to collect data at (a) town and (b) ward level on out-of-county placements of vulnerable adults in the principal seaside towns of England and Wales; (244443)

(2) if he will consider the merits of collecting statistics on the placements of vulnerable people by social services departments, broken down by (a) county, (b) town, (c) ward and (d) lower super output area.

The requirements for statistical returns from Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs) were set out in the answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1516W. These are national requirements made upon all relevant local authorities in England, including those areas constituting the principal seaside towns. There are no specific requirements which relate only to seaside towns, nor do these requirements extend to local authorities in Wales.

The current data requirements include information on out-of-area placements in residential care. Following the implementation of the new Local Performance Framework for Local Authorities and their Partners from April 2008, the Department has undertaken a review of its national adult social care collections. This review, facilitated by the NHS Information Centre for Health and social care, has been wide ranging and culminated in a public consultation on proposals for the future, conducted under national statistics rules. One of the recommendations of the review was to consider how the current information on out-of-area placements can be better collected to achieve an improved information resource for local partners. This is currently in discussion with partners, including the Commission for Social Care Inspection, to determine options for improving this data source, and further recommendations are expected to be made in 2009.