§ 21. Mr. Lubbock
asked the Minister of Health how many places are provided in old people's homes by the Kent County Council; and how many applicants are on the waiting list.
33 and 34. Mr. Slater
asked the Minister of Health (1) if he will make a statement regarding Aged People's Hostel accommodation in the northern region; how many applications for new hostels are still outstanding; and what are the prospects for the immediate future.
(2) how many aged people are still on the waiting list for admittance to Aged People's Homes in Durham County; and what are the prospects for the future.
§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Mr. Bernard Braine)
On present provision and future plans I would refer hon. Members to Command 1973; waiting lists are a matter for the local authorities.
§ Mr. Lubbock
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that Command 1973 shows that the ratio of places to the population is very much worse in Kent than throughout the nation as a whole? Is he aware that some of my constituents have been waiting for months and months to be taken into old people's homes? What steps is his Ministry taking to encourage local authorities to provide more places in old people's homes?
§ Mr. Braine
While it is perfectly proper for the Government to provide leadership and to offer help, there can be 903 no question of my right hon. Friend exercising close surveillance over the detailed administration of local authorities. If the provision is inadequate, the publication of the Command White Paper, with its ten-year plan, shows for the first time in all areas—in juxtaposition—what is happening; and this should be of the greatest help to local authorities in revising their plans for the future.