§ Mr. Small
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what returns he has asked for from local authorities, in the provision of services for disabled persons covered by Section 12 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act; what degree of uniformity of treatment has been achieved; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Gordon Campbell
For the calendar year 1970, local authorities have been asked to complete an annual return on the services they provide or arrange under the Social Work (Scotland) Act, 1968. This includes information about the numbers of disabled persons who started to receive care or assistance from the local authority during the year, and those receiving care at the end of the year, with separate figures for different categories. Information about the numbers of disabled persons placed in residential136W accommodation during the year, and the numbers there at the end of the year, together with information about attendance at day centres, is also requested.
I have not yet received these returns from all local authorities, but I hope that figures for the whole of Scotland will be available this summer. I shall analyse these returns in order to see whether they indicate any serious disparity between the services provided by different authorities.
I intend shortly to ask local authorities to let me know of their proposals for development of their social work services, including their services for the disabled. As indicated in the White Paper on Public Expenditure 1969–70 to 1974–75 (Cmnd. 4578), the Government have been able to make available additional funds for the development of the social work services over the next few years. Provision for the continued expansion of the services has also been made in the Rate Support Grant Order for 1971–73.