§ Mr. Blaker
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many private beds in National Health Service hospitals have been taken out of use since 1st March and are now unoccupied.
§ Dr. Owen
As health authorities are not required to tell my Department when pay beds are temporarily unavailable, I regret that precise information is not available. From inquiries I have made, however, I understand that 41 pay beds in 10 hospitals have been taken out of service since 1st March and are still not available. Details are as follows:
way. My hon. Friend will know that we are arranging for close consultation about the future with organisations representing disabled people.
§ Mr. Kilroy-Silk
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will extend the proposed invalidity care allowance to wives who give up work to look after their sick husbands.
§ Mr. Alfred Morris
As explained in the House of Commons Paper (276 of 1974) on "Social Security Provisions for Chronically Sick and Disabled People," married women—other than those not living with or maintained by their husbands—will not in general be eligible for the invalid care, allowance, which 521W will be a non-means-tested maintenance benefit, since they might well be at home in any event. In addition, payment of an invalid care allowance to such married women who were looking after a sick husband would not normally benefit them, because the increase of their husband's benefit for them would need to be withdrawn if there were such a payment.