§ Mr. Milburn
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the levels of abuse of elderly people in different care environments. 
§ Mr. Bowis
We are undertaking a number of activities to enable an assessment to be made of the nature and extent of elder abuse and to promote practical help for people who are subject to, or at risk of, abuse.
We helped to establish the organisation Action on Elder Abuse in 1993 and are funding its telephone helpline. We are also financing an independent evaluation of the helpline which will provide evidence of prevalence and types of abuse. Action on Elder Abuse produced a free guidance leaflet in 1995 on abuse in care homes.
The social services inspectorate has published practice guidelines on safeguarding older people who may be at risk of abuse in domestic settings and has funded the production of a research review, which is currently being distributed.
We also provide grant aid to Counsel and Care which has independently produced a fact sheet on older people at risk of abuse in care homes. Counsel and Care held a seminar in May 1995 with the intention of pooling ideas on policies, procedures and practice.