HC Deb 12 June 1984 vol 61 cc452-3W
Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many persons employed by the National Health Service in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were included in the superannuation scheme on 1 January 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984.

Mr. John Patten

The information is as follows:

local authority is responsible for providing clothing and footwear. The higher personal expenses allowance for recipients of supplementary benefit resident in private homes recognises their responsibility for providing their own clothing and footwear.

Ms. Harman

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will introduce regulations to require his Department to assess the standard and appropriateness for the individual concerned of private residential care homes before his Department's sponsorship is allowed.

Dr. Boyson

Supplementary benefit staff are not equipped to monitor standards of accommodation and care, nor to assess what arrangements best meet an individual's needs: the expertise in these matters rests with local authority social services departments and with health authorities. My right hon. Friend does not therefore have any plans to introduce regulations of the kind proposed.

Nevertheless, in monitoring the payment of supplementary benefit to people in residential care and nursing homes we shall be considering whether more can be done lo ensure that both accommodation and care are of an adequate standard are appropriate to the individual' s needs, and provide value for money.

Ms. Harman

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make attendance allowance available to residents in local authority residential care homes.

Mr. Newton

No. It would not be appropriate to pay attendance allowance where the severely disabled person is living in accommodation the cost of which is provided out of public funds.

Ms. Harman

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he will publish revised building notes on residential care homes.

Mr. John Patten

There are three local authority building notes on residential care. They cover facilities for the mentally handicapped, the mentally ill and the elderly.

We have decided that it would be helpful to the service if design guidance for this type of small building was in a more informal and flexible style than that of the building notes which are more suitable for hospitals. We do not therefore intend to update the old building notes, which were produced in the 1960s, but instead to issue design guidance in the form of pamphlets which explore in some depth the variety of options open to local authorities in designing these buildings.

The first two of these pamphlets — Residential Facilities for Mentally Handicapped Children and Health Service Accommodation for Severely Mentally Handicapped People — covering design guidance for facilities for mentally handicapped children and for mentally handicapped adults have already been issued and work is proceeding on further pamphlets in respect of provision for the elderly. Copies of the pamphlets are available in the Library.