HC Deb 27 October 1987 vol 121 c163
15. Mr. Hinchliffe

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many elderly persons were admitted to private residential homes with Department of Health and Social Security financial support during the year ended 31 March.

Mr. Portillo

The information is not available in the exact form requested. Figures for February 1987 show that there were 65,000 people of pension age in private and voluntary residential care homes claiming supplementary benefit help with their fees.

Mr. Hinchliffe

In view of the situation demonstrated by the recent Yorkshire Television programme, "First Tuesday", which looked at the care of the elderly, are the Government satisfied with the impact of their free market ideology on the care of the elderly? Furthermore, does the Minister accept that it is in the best interests of elderly physically or mentally handicapped people to be advertised as chattels in estate agents' descriptions of houses to be sold for the private care of handicapped people?

Mr. Portillo

Recent concern has centred not only on private homes but on local authority homes. We shall look at the report of Lady Wagner's review of residential care, which is expected shortly. Meanwhile, the social services inspectorate is discussing with local authorities the ways in which it can improve its monitoring.