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Written Answers

Volume 489: debated on Wednesday 21 October 1987

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Written Answers

Public Funding In Community Care: Griffiths Review

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the report currently being prepared by Sir Roy Griffiths on the use of public funding in community care will concern itself with, and make recommendation about, such use for mentally ill persons in Scotland.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Security
(Lord Skelmersdale)

Sir Roy Griffiths' review includes the use of public funds supplied through the social security system, which is the same throughout the UK. Sir Roy's recommendations will therefore have some regard to the position in Scotland.

asked Her Majesty's Government:What consultation Sir Roy Griffiths has had or intends to have with voluntary agencies or bodies in Scotland regarding the current or possible future provision in Scotland of community care by such agencies or bodies (whether acting alone or in association with others) for persons with mental health problems.

I understand that Sir Roy Griffiths has informed himself of the subject matter of his review in a variety of ways, including reading, visiting and consulting widely. This has included views from Scottish voluntary organisations concerned with mental health.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether or not it is intended that any policies to be formed after Sir Roy Griffiths makes his report on community care funding will reflect the differences on mental health care provision, funding and planning that exist between Scotland and England and Wales.

Decisions following the receipt of Sir Roy Griffiths' report will have to take account of existing differences between England, Scotland and Wales in the systems for funding and planning mental health services.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the terms of reference for Sir Roy Griffiths' inquiry into community care funding were intended to permit him to recommend to Ministers:—

(a) the spending of additional funds on community care; and (b) the provision by central government of new money on a long-term basis to assist voluntary agencies the better to provide community care for the mentally ill and therefore to allow such voluntary bodies to plan such provision on a regular and long-term basis.

As his terms of reference make clear, Sir Roy has been asked to review the way in which public funds are used to support community care. The intention is to achieve a more efficient use of those resources.

Firearms Legislation

Whether they are in a position to introduce proposals for new firearms legislation.

The broad package of proposals which my right honourable friend announced at Torquay and other related proposals designed to strengthen existing controls on firearms are being carefully and thoroughly examined in consultation with interested parties. A copy of that statement is in the Library. The tragedy at Hungerford and other recent disturbing incidents involving those in the lawful possession of a firearm or shotgun certificate add to the case for a substantial shift in the balance of firearms law to meet the needs of public safety. This cannot be done unreasonably at expense of the legitimate shooting interest. A proper balance must be struck between the two. We hope to announce comprehensive proposals designed to meet this end next month with a view to introducing separate new firearms legislation early this Session.