HC Deb 05 December 1966 vol 737 cc923-4
30. Dr. John Dunwoody

asked the Minister of Health what plans there are to develop further the geriatric services.

Mr. K. Robinson

I have asked hospital boards to make an early provision in their programmes for the expansion of their geriatric services.

Dr. Dunwoody

Would my right hon. Friend go further and try to encourage a much greater degree of co-ordination between hospital services, general practitioner services and local authority services with the intention of maintaining many more old folk in their own homes rather than in institutions and hospitals?

Mr. Robinson

Yes, I have on several occasions urged on all authorities in the Service the desirability of co-ordinated planning of joint operations for these services. I agree with what my hon. Friend has said.

Mr. Pavitt

In view of the need to pursue this line of co-ordination, would my right hon. Friend seek to have in various areas an experiment in a changed structure of co-ordination between the three wings of the Service to deal with old people?

Mr. Robinson

In so far as this is possible under the present statutory structure, I think that my hon. Friend will find that this is already taking place in certain areas.

Mrs. Knight

Will the Minister take steps to ensure that local authorities have more money to spend on domiciliary services, because these are of vital importance in keping old people happy?

Mr. Robinson

The hon. Lady knows that the provision of local services is a matter for local authorities. They must decide their priorities as between the various headings of expenditure which they incur.

Mr. Ridsdale

Is the Minister aware how disappointed we are in North-East Essex that he has not been able to help us with day hospitals?

Mr. Robinson

If the hon. Gentleman has a Question about his constituency or area, I should be obliged if he would table it.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I called the hon. Member for Harwich (Mr. Ridsdale) for the next Question, but he got a supplementary through on this one.

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