HC Deb 24 July 1979 vol 971 cc340-1
13. Mr. Thomas Cox

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the provision of geriatric services in the London borough of Wandsworth.

Sir George Young

The Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth area health authority and the London borough of Wandsworth are primarily responsible for the care of the elderly in Wandsworth. I have no reason to suppose that these authorities do not provide adequate services.

Mr. Cox

May I assure the Minister that many local practitioners and organisations that look after the elderly in Wandsworth are deeply concerned about the provision of services? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in Wandsworth we, unfortunately, have the most reactionary Tory council in Britain, which is now deliberately cutting all social services, across the board, within the borough? As a matter of urgency, will he seek a meeting with the Wandsworth council social services department and local hospitals to make himself fully aware of the lack of provision for elderly geriatrics within the borough?

Sir G. Young

No, Sir. I think that last year one of the biggest swings throughout the country took place in Wandsworth, in response to the previous regime.

Mr. Adley

Where it is proposed to close old people's homes, be it in Wandsworth or at Everton Grange, in my constituency, will my hon. Friend do his best to ensure that the doctors concerned, especially those who are attending the old folk, are at least given the opportunity to be consulted, rather than being treated as arrogantly as they have been in my constituency, where they have not had a chance to express their opinions.

Sir G. Young

This is primarily a matter for the local authority, but I shall draw to its attention what my hon. Friend said.

Mr. Christopher Price

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that it is being suggested that it will be necessary to discontinue pocket money payments to the elderly in old people's homes in local authorities throughout the country because of the Government's cuts? Does he support that suggestion, which comes from the Tory Association of County Councils?

Sir G. Young

Regulations have been laid prescribing an increased personal allowance for residents of old people's homes from the date of the November uprating of the retirement pension.

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