§ Mr. Coaker
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had or plans to have with the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions to ensure that planning permissions given to new nursing homes take account of the impact such consents have on local medical services. 
§ Mr. Hutton
We believe that the supervision of nursing homes is best done through the regulation of homes. General planning legislation is not appropriate for this 661W purpose as it does not always differentiate residential and nursing homes from other dwellings where their impact on land-use is regarded as broadly similar. Therefore, we have not had, nor do we have any plans to have, discussions with the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions on this issue.
Currently, nursing homes are regulated by Part II of the Registered Homes Act 1984. Under the Act local health authorities are responsible for registering independent nursing homes. Applicants must provide the health authority with details of the arrangements they intend to make, or have made, for their residents to receive medical services either under National Health Service arrangements or otherwise. In considering the application, the local health authority will take into account the impact on local medical services of registering the home along with all the other considerations.