§ 36. Mr. Leadbitter
asked the Minister of Health how many home helps are available in West Hartlepool and Hartlepool, respectively; what is the number of applicants for home help service, and the number receiving such service; and how many in-patients in the Hartlepools Group of Hospitals could be relieved of hospital care if home help service was available for them.
§ Mr. Loughlin
Sixty-three and 15 (in whole-time equivalents); 504 and 101: 484 and 101, respectively. Information on the last part of the Question is not available.
§ Mr. Leadbitter
Can my hon. Friend say that during the present general review of the services this service will be given special attention particularly in relation to the latter part of my Question? Will he agree that this matter is of importance and that it ought to be the policy of the Department he represents that people ought not to stay in hospitals for too long when the home help service could be made available to them?
§ Mr. Loughlin
I should not like to try to answer the last part of my hon. Friend's Question in reply to a supplementary Question because in-patients may need more than home helps and it would be necessary to have a very searching inquiry before answering that point. My hon. Friend may like to know that the ratio of home helps per thousand of the population in both West Hartlepool and the Hartlepools is higher than the national average and it is predicted that in 1973 it will still be higher than the national average.